"And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith?" – Mark 4:37-40

When I was young, my room was on the north side of the house. Every year cold fronts would barrel down, and they were usually preceded by strong thunderstorms and potential tornadoes. I was afraid of these storms. Often the lights would go out as the winds howled. At the first sound of thunder, I would run to my parent’s closed bedroom door. I huddled just outside waiting for the storm to pass in anticipation of a disaster that never happened. While I quivered in fear, my dad slept obliviously just beyond the door. I failed to realize that my father’s undisturbed rest was a signal that all was well, and that I was safe. But only when the storm passed, and my fears proved unfounded, would I return to my room.

Many things in this life are beyond our control, and they are often very frightening. We face many kinds of storms that have us quivering in fear: financial crises, foreclosure, marital strife, legal issues, crime, war, or natural disasters. We face times of severe stress as we try to control the uncontrollable. As troubles increase and our very lives become endangered, we may think that God is asleep or does not care about us or our situation. Too often we worry when our fears are unfounded.

The disciples faced this same issue in today's text. Prior to the storm, Jesus told them, let's cross to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, and then He went to sleep. He knew the destination and that they would make it safely, so He rested in the Father's arms. On the other hand, as the winds and the waves appeared to be ready to sink the ship no matter how hard the disciples rowed, they feared greatly. All they could see was the storm, and they forgot who it was that was with them. They asked Jesus, don't you even care that we are about to die? Jesus told the winds to be still before chastising the disciples about their lack of faith. It appears that the storm was a test that they failed.

Our lives are too often like that. We feel like we are in a small boat on life's stormy seas. All we can see is the wind and waves as we believe that we are drowning in our untamable circumstances. We question God and say, "Don't you even care that we're perishing?" We worry, when all along God has assured our final destination. We forget that He loves us and has promised to be by our side through the storm (Hebrews 13:5) Our responsibility is not to be in control and to figure out how we are going to fulfill God's plan for our lives. All we are called to do is submit to His leading and to have faith that He will provide everything needed to carry it out. He offers us both provision and protection. Our anxiety comes when we concentrate on the storm instead of the One who commands the storm.

A portion of the Serenity Prayer says, "God grant me the serenity to accept the things that I cannot change, the courage to change the things that I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." Storms will come, and we cannot change that. What we can change is our perspective. The storm says that we cannot, while God says that He will.

God gives us a measure of faith to see us through life's storms. We can take comfort that He is by our side and loves us dearly. So, when the winds howl and the thunder cracks, we can rest in Jesus as He commands the storm, "Peace, be still."