Be Quiet. Be Still



(Mark 4:35 – 41  NIV)
That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”
He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!”

The wind heard his words but couldn’t imagine stopping. He had work to do. His task was very important and he was the guy for the job. He would prove to be successful. There was so much he had to accomplish and so little time. So he blew even more forcefully making everything he encountered react to his strength. “See how important I am”, he shouted arrogantly.

The waves continued to crash. He couldn’t stop moving, however making it clear it was not his fault. Al contraire, the entire ocean was pushing him around, and the wind was not helping either. The waves would stop, but nobody else was cooperating, so he would continue. He was powerless to do anything but to go with the flow.

The rain continued to pour down on the boat. All she could do was fall, as she was really powerless. How could she just stop? Not possible! She wasn’t strong enough, nor brave enough. She didn’t have what it takes. Depressed and drearily she continued to rain down.

The boat heard Jesus voice as well, and continued to splash through the water. It fought the tides around it, crashing into waves and pushing along in spite of really not making any progress and putting itself at risk. It would continue to fight everything around it and prove it was stronger than they. Nobody could tell it what to do. It was in complete control of its own life and destiny.

The disciples meanwhile, along with others on the boat, continued to run around squealing and begging any God available for help. Some prayed to the sea gods for mercy. Others hid in the hull praying that the wind god would stop pitching a fit. Others just ran around in circles tugging at masts, and pulling on ropes, hoping their effort would make a difference in the storm. Their screams and pleas couldn’t be heard due to the noise the wind and waves were making around them. Only their lips could be seen moving, but no voice was powerful enough to drown out the intense storm.

Jesus again shouted, “Didn’t I say stop! Be quiet. Be still.”

The wind was not moved by His voice. You can’t just stand on the deck of a sinking boat and yell at people. Who did He think He is? It’s laughable for Him to think He can just boss others around. “Fool, sit down and ride out the storm!”

The waves heard Jesus’ voice but was immediately annoyed. It was not easy to stop when so much water was behind you pushing you around. He would like to be still, but other idiots were making life impossible for him, and until they stopped he had no choice. Most problems like this in life are other’s fault. If they would just change, life would be different.

The rain giggled at Jesus’ voice. “Ohhhhh….now he’s mad!” And she joked that he thought himself “tough stuff and powerful”. She would continue to fall, as this was all she was made for in this her miserable and dreary life. He could say all the words He wanted to, but they couldn’t change her miserable existence.

The boat laughed. “Words can’t move me. I’m a large boat and I’ll do what I well please. I’m not going to be manipulated by your ‘strong’ words and ‘deep forceful grown-up voice’. If you are so powerful, then come and stop me! I dare you to.” It continued his course tackling each wave with more and more force. He would win this battle!

The disciples and others on the boat continued their panic. Some cursed God saying He was not fair or loving. Others prepared to die, lost and hopeless of making it out of the storm alive. A number of disciples were angry. They had wasted their time following Jesus, and he’d led them to their deaths here in the middle of the sea. Jesus was not really powerful, just full of easy tricks he could work on people, but never on nature. They were all going to die!

Jesus stood on the deck shaking his head. They just didn’t understand. It was frustrating that everyone just continued their course, making the storm worse instead of trusting in Him. If they would just follow two simple instructions: 1. Be quiet, 2. Be still. It wasn’t that complicated! It’s not that hard! Two simple instructions and yet everyone were still panicking like the demons in the pigs.

Once again he raised his voice and spoke.

“You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he rebuked the winds and the waves.”

But this time something different happened. One by one, they calmed down. Each focused on being quiet and being still. And there was a strange calm all around as each realized they had followed his instructions. They had listened to His voice and responded accordingly.

“They were terrified and asked each other, ‘Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!’”

He did have power!
His voice had made a difference.
He was the Christ and He had control over the winds and waves.

When they just obeyed, they changed.
And as others obeyed, they also changed their behavior.
Each realized the impact they had on those around them.
Their actions were met with other’s reactions.
As they thought about it, what they had been doing seemed ridiculous.

It was silly to think they were in control.
Why hadn’t they listened the first time.
They simply suffered longer than need be.
When they next storm hit, they would react differently.
They would follow his commands the first time.

“I won’t sin this way again”
“I won’t fall into the same paths or habits”
“I promise to respond differently and listen more closely”
“I’ll be still more often.”
“I will learn to listen to Your voice more carefully”
“I realize I’m not in control….You are.”
“I want to be a better disciple”


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Mark Wakefield

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