Today's Devotion from Pastor Merrill Friday, March 20, 2020
"And [Jesus] awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, "Peace! Be still!" And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm." Mark 4:39 [ESV]
Sometimes, I have to admit, Jesus and I aren't on the same page.
I read this passage about Jesus calming the storm. I read how Jesus, with a word: "Peace! Be Still!" caused a violent wind to stop blowing and brought a great calm over the sea. And I think, "Boy, it sure would be nice, Jesus, if You would rebuke this COVID-19 virus and tell it to go away. You are Lord of creation. It would have to listen to You. You have the power to do it, and do it right now." That's what I'd like to see.
But I am not God. Who can look into the mind of God and discern why He allows a pandemic like this to come upon us? Sure, I can give textbook answers: sin, Adam's curse and all that. But when is enough enough, Lord? When are you going to call this off?
If you look at the text from Mark 4:35-41, you'll note that the wind and the sea listen to Jesus' words. Jesus' disciples did not! They hear Jesus rebuke the wind: "Peace! Be still!" They see the result. And they are afraid! "And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, 'Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?" (Mark 4:41 [ESV]) They missed the message! "Peace! Be still!" was not only for the wind and the sea, but for their fearful hearts! And they missed it.
At any time during this pandemic, Jesus could rebuke the virus and it would go away. But now, at this time, every day, He speaks His Word to you and me who are His disciples. "Peace! Be still! You have peace because I am your Savior who loved you and gave Myself for you on the cross. You can be still because you know that I am God."
Jesus not only has power over all creation; He has mercy on us. Though we may not know the reason He allows this pandemic to continue, we can be certain of His love for us because of what He did for us at the cross. His death and resurrection not only give us peace with God and eternal life, but they allow us to live in hope, not fear. Don't miss His words for you: "Peace! Be still!"
Prayer: Lord Jesus, forgive us when we fail to listen to Your promises. When it seems like You are sleeping, remind us that You are still in the boat with us, and will not let us perish. Amen.