We live in a very fast paced world. With new iPhones, news or social media apps, etc; we are bombarded with a constant flow of information that not only keeps us busy but keeps our minds occupied. Not all of this is bad, but it causes us to live fast paced, never slowing down, stress driven lives. Pastor Rich Villodas, in his book The Deeply Formed Life, notes the fact that our lives are too busy. He states, “our souls were not created for the kind of speed to which we have grown accustomed to…” Here is why I point this out: I see that the busyness of our lives and constant flow of information has cause many of us to live stressful lives. We are stressed about jobs, family, the world, politics. Now this is not to say that these aren’t important, for in fact they are, but I want to challenge us on how we respond to these circumstances.
In Mark 4:35-41 we have a powerful event that took place where the disciples and Jesus were on a boat. They had all got into a boat and started to cross over the sea when a terrible storm came their way. It was so bad that they thought they were going to die. Where do you find Jesus in the midst of this, “asleep on the cushion…” Jesus was in the same boat as the disciple and yet his response to the situation they are in is far different. Why? What do we learn about Jesus in this? We see that despite the circumstances, Jesus was not allowing stress or anxiety to be his guide, he was at peace. How was he at peace in the midst of all that was happening around him?
In this event, the disciples did their best to overcome the waves themselves, it was only when they felt like they were going to die that they turned to Jesus. They cried out to him and Jesus answered by calming the storm with his very words.
Why do I want to note this passage today? I see the world around us and see many people, Christians and none Christians, living very stress & anxiety filled lives. Maybe it is because they are too busy, or constantly reading the news or maybe their job has been crazy. When life gets crazy how do we remain steady?
First, I want us to understand that no matter what is happening God isn’t stressed out. God is not in heaven trying to figure out what to do. God is not under pressure or in a rush. So, though your circumstance may seem crazy at the time (like the disciples in the boat) understand that God is not stressed and trying to figure things out.
Second, God is in control. To the disciples the circumstance seemed completely out of control and for them it was. They couldn’t row fast enough or empty enough water out of the boat. It was out of control to them, but it was not out of God’s control. In fact, God was in complete control, he saw what they could not see, Peace. God is in control and sees beyond what you can see in your circumstance
Third, turn to Jesus first. Finally, after trying everything themselves they turned to Jesus who could actually do something about it. Whatever your circumstance is lay it before Jesus. Let Jesus be your first resort and not the last you turn to, for He can actually transform your circumstance. Jesus raised the dead, calmed the storm, healed the sick, cast out demon—do you think his hand is limited in your life?
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest…” Matthew 11:28
So today in the midst of everything going on in your life and the world around you, it might feel like you are in a boat that is about to sink. Let me encourage and challenge you while in that storm. I want you to know that Jesus isn’t stress, Jesus is in control and we should turn to him believing and knowing that he can transform our lives and situations. Peace, true peace, isn’t found in a vacation or a new job but found in Jesus, the Prince of Peace.
Will you allow the world and anxiety to drive your life or will you turn to Jesus knowing that true peace and transformation is only found in Him?
By Daniel Storm