“Peace! Be still!”

Mark 4:35-41: 35 On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” 36 And leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him. 37 A great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. 38 But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” 39 He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. 40 He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?” 41 And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”

This passage from Mark is one of my favorites and I return to it whenever I am feeling anxious or uncertain. For me  when I am feeling anxious, my emotions are heightened and I feel like I’m on my own with too much to handle. There are two main things in this scripture that bring me comfort.

First, the response of the disciples in the storm who question Jesus. I can imagine that in this great windstorm amidst their fears and anxieties turning towards Jesus and shouting, “Teacher do you not care?” I find this comforting because there are times in my life where I feel like shouting or crying out to Jesus. In times when the anxiety is high wanting to cry out “Hello, is anyone there?” Seeing the disciples story makes me feel less alone in my feelings and seeing how Jesus responds to them shows me that crying out is received.

Second, the response of Jesus being so calm in this windstorm that he is “asleep on the cushion.” I find it comforting to know that he is calm in troubled waters and that he can calm the storm.

Throughout the pandemic there were times when we were told that being around people was not safe and even life threatening. As the world is opening up I am feeling anxiety as I am shifting my brain from this space of being around others is not safe to it being ok. Talking with friends, family, and colleagues people are all over the map in how they feel about stepping forward. I am finding comfort in knowing that I am not alone and that I can turn towards Jesus with my anxieties.

Pastor Alyssa Baker

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