It is no secret patience isn’t always my area of specialty. My wife would affirm. But, what I’ve come to realize is that often my lack of patience is a direct result of a lack (or unwillingness) to trust. It points to a lack of trust in a loving and sovereign God. The same God who remains in control even when it feels like things seem to be out of control. Recently, a passage in scripture keeps coming to mind. It’s a story from Mark 4:38-39. The story involves Jesus and his disciples encountering a storm while at sea:
“But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” 39 And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.” Mark 4:38-39
The Bible places importance on posture, and this story is no different. First we look at the posture of the disciples when difficulties arose: panic, fear, they even went so far as to question Jesus’ motives by asking if he even cared they were going to die! The truth is you and I are no different. When conflict arises, we begin to grasp for control instead of clinging to the one who promises to never leave or abandon us. Thus, our posture becomes one of panic.
Then there was the posture of Jesus. Think about the posture involved there. Even in the middle of a storm, Jesus was at peace, resting, sleeping.
But what he says next both to the storm, and in turn to the disciples, is a reminder for all of us, “Peace! Be Still!” At his command, even the winds and the waves obey. The command was not a timid suggestion, but an authoritative command. Why is it so difficult for us to be still in times of turmoil? Why does our default posture become impatience, panic, and grasping for control? The reality is, a posture of peace isn’t a natural position for us. But scripture reminds us, it must be. It’s not a cordial request from Christ, it’s an authoritative command.