This year, 2020, has been one of the toughest and most troubling. It doesn’t seem to be ending well either. We are seeing a far greater number of Covid-19 cases than before. With new lockdown measures in Philadelphia, many have new concerns about their job security. It seems that the waves of troubles are far from over. It can be all too easy to slip into fear.
In Matthew 8:23-25, we see the following events: 23 And when he (Jesus) got into the boat, his disciples followed him. 24 And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. 25 And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” 26 And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. 27 And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?”
This is a terrifying storm, one that strikes fear in even the most experienced fisherman among the disciples. It is in this storm that they have fear on their faces and terror in their eyes that they cry out to their Messiah: “Save us, Lord; WE ARE PERISHING!” Then we see Jesus rebuke them for their fear. Why? What was so wrong with their statement? We know that crying out for salvation from Christ is always the right thing to do. It wasn’t the first part that is the issue; the issue is with the second part of their plea. It is with the certainty they had of their fate, “We are perishing.” Their fear led them to believe that they were about to enter a deep dark abyss, lost forever. Fear can make us think that the worst of the worst possible outcomes is going to happen.
But they had Christ in the boat with them. It is through this same Christ that all things have been created (Hebrews 1:2). We also see in John 3:35 that, “The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand.” When we have Christ with us, we have nothing to fear because we can have comfort knowing that the King of kings and the Lord of Lords is with us. Neither waves, nor a virus, nor a storm can escape his authority.
It is also interesting to see that the disciples were shocked at how Jesus rescued them. When they asked for his help, did they think he was going to help them swim to shore? Perhaps he had stellar rowing abilities that would get them to land? Whatever they thought, having the power to stop the storm was not one of them. Friend, Christ is far more powerful than you and I can possibly imagine.
Does this mean that we are free from storms with terrifying waves? No, because, even with Christ in the boat, the disciples still went through the storm. The waves still crashed against them. But with Christ in your boat, in your heart and in your life, there is no need to fear an impending doom. Christ is far more powerful than we realize.