[The disciples] were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”
When you have a moment, look up “Gardner Museum” online. When you get to the museum website, search Rembrandt, and you will find his extraordinary work of art, “Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee.”
Look it over. Zoom in on the details. Rembrandt captures the moment when Jesus and his disciples are in a terrible squall while sailing in a small boat. Thanks to Rembrandt’s genius, you can almost hear the roar of the wind, the crash of the waves, the cries of the men. You can almost feel the cold spray on your face.
Study the disciples. Several of them are scrambling to control the sail. One is holding on to the tiller for dear life. One is about to get sick. One is clinging to the side, frozen over what to do next. One has his back to us, quietly shutting down in despair. One is in prayer. Two of them are yelling at Jesus in panic, waking him up from a sound sleep.
Finally, there is one disciple who is looking straight at you. He appears to have questioning eyes. He seems to be asking, “What about you? How would you react if you were in my place?”
When the storms of life hit, which one of the disciples are you? Do you scramble to figure things out on your own? Do you simply hold on to the tiller for dear life? Do you yell at Jesus in panic? Do you shut down, overwhelmed?
Time for some candor. There have been many times when you and I have reacted to the storms of life out of anxiety, panic, and fear instead of trust in the one who commands the wind and the waves.
But Jesus came here for more than stilling storms. He came to live a life of perfect trust on our behalf. Jesus came to wash away our every sinful failure at the cross, and then he rose from death. And because he has, he refreshes us in his forgiveness when we come to him in repentant hearts. Restored in him, you and I can rest easy, even in the storms of life.
Lord Jesus, when the storms come, you are here. All is well. Thank you. Amen.