I have been reflecting on Christ, sleeping, quiet and at peace, in the midst of the storm on the boat with His disciples. Like a child, safe and hidden from harm in His mother’s loving arms. Wild winds showering icy darts of rain, cascading upon sails, arched, full, being tested by the power of uncertainty. Seasoned fishermen caught in nets of the intricacies of their messy human condition, tossed, frantic as a giant gale swoops down on them like an eagle to its prey. But in this electrically charged moment, we see what is possible when life surprises us with an unannounced assault of chaos. We too, with zestful faith and calm assurance, can allow His peace to spill down into our stereotyped containers of humdrum existence that life forces down our throats; allowing that same restful quietness to decorate the landscape of our lives with courage and peace, unlike those who have not Christ in their boat.
Christ sleeps, trusting, safe, unafraid, kept by prayers and communion from the early morning hours spent with an all-knowing Father, Creator, Sustainer and Comforter. No sinful habits have dulled his sight or washed a veneer of hopelessness over the eyes of this Sage of time. This apocalyptic Pastor, at peace in the midst of thunder and lightning, rests in a resurrection-cocoon of scripture and purpose.
When I am in despair of the burdens I carry
and in need of peace and solitude,
I walk among the redwood trees, tall and strong,
and feel the presence of One mightier than I
whose sole desire is to remove my fear
and guide me to the corridors of peace
where angels have stood,
wise men sought counsel,
and the Guardian of us all
beckons the winds to cease;
calls forth light out of darkness,
and lets me rest beside still waters that calm my soul.
Finding Christ’s Rest
Today we live in a society that seeks to reduce our existence to the helter-skelter life of an ant farm, keeping us mindlessly scurrying here and there in a constant state of worry as winds of uncertainty blow. As we learn to trust Him more fully, we learn that even in the midst of our greatest trial, Christ’s rest is found in an abandoning of self, a disembarking from religion’s chaotic roller coaster, and in the embracing of the unsinkable life vest of passion and prayer that binds us to Him.
Jesus, asleep as man, awake as God, ever vigilant, was speaking the fret-free language of faith and hope to His disciples and us. Not a language of sound, but a silent demonstration of faith witnessed on a tiny boat tossed about by winds and sea. Who can withstand commands from the Word of Life? Can the very seas He etched by His sovereign will upon the landscape of immortal time withstand the Master Designer and Architect of Life? The entire heavenly host in their robes of assurance and faith shout down from the portal of heaven a resounding, “Never!”
Christ, the Peace Giver
Christ’s task was to tell His followers and us, at the risk of alienating some, about the narrow path of a dedicated life. He moved those who would rise above the charade of insignificant faith, leading them through the cross to the Father in the midst of crisis, chaos and confusion, delivering them to wholeness. Only Christ can satisfy our thirst for wholeness and quench our parched and dry souls. Often, in storms of chaos, I find myself wondering – where is He? He knew we would need Him, and that we would face challenges beyond our limits of understanding, and so He created a Way for us to trust Him in our weakest moments. Through the cross, He bequeathed us His peace, a peace that defies natural understanding (John 14:27).
Amidst the unrelenting crises of life two thousand years beyond His days on earth, we have an image of what it means to rest in the storm. He is, our Eternal Valentine, filled with love for us. Our Father’s deepest desire is for us to find a quiet harbor, an altar; kept safe by heaven’s Practitioner of the Soul. He has a place of ‘Still Waters’ where we can find refreshing, a renewing of mind, body and soul. “He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters” (Psa. 23:2). His spirit whispers, “He who was with Jesus and His disciples is with you also.” May we be reminded that God is the faithful one, able to do “far abundantly more than we can ask or think” (Eph. 3:20). Returning to the Art of Spiritual Maturity begins as we wade out deeply into the still waters and rest in His ark of loving kindness, allowing His love to burn deeply into our soul like a holy flame that cannot be extinguished. As the potter molds His children of clay, He also soothes our weary spiritual senses with the fragrance of spiritual development and growth. It is here, when He is allowed full control over every fiber of our lives that we are shown a deeper revelation of the mysteries of the Kingdom of God, and the seeds of growth can sprout through any season of need or lack.
Meet the Author
Alan Bullock has a BA in Biblical Studies, a Master’s Degree in Biblical Counseling, and an earned Doctor of Theology. In addition, Alan is a Certified Pastor Counselor, a member of The International Association of Christian Counseling Professionals (IACCP), and also a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC).