Rebuked the Winds. There is so much to gain from these few short verses in Matthew 8, but two things in particular seem to stand out. First of all, the incredulity of Jesus at the disciples' lack of faith, and second the reaction of the disciples when they discovered that even the winds and the sea obeyed the Lord.
23 And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him.
24 And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep.
25 And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish.
26 And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.
27 But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!
Matthew 8:23-27, KJV
See Also: Mark 4:35-5:20 and Luke 8:22-39
We note, from Matthew 8, that the disciples not only lacked faith, but they were absolutely astounded when Jesus rebuked the winds and the sea.
Do we not do the very same thing? How many times are we consumed by worry or fear, yet we know and love the Lord Jesus Christ? Do we not understand this God we serve? Indeed, we certainly do not understand Him, do we?
One of the great blessings of becoming an older believer is the ability to look back over one's life at all of those times of great worry and fear and see the amazing way in which has God provided for you, kept you through the difficult times, and brought sunshine back into your life. Does that mean that older believers no longer worry? Oh how I wish I could say, "Yes!" Perhaps I can say, maybe they worry a little less, for God in His grace, grows our faith through the difficult days.
It is not always easy, in the middle of the storm, when the waves are crashing against our ship of life to remember that God will sustain us. However when He does, and when one begins to walk through those same storms of life in peace, how sweet and wondrous is our fellowship with the Lord.
Even more amazing in this passage is the reaction of the disciples to the words of Christ. Truthfully, it was really not until after the death and resurrection of Christ that the disciples began to understand who this Christ really was. During the days of His ministry, when He walked among them, they were just beginning to understand the power and might of this wondrous Lord. They had not yet come to fully understand that this same Jesus, the God Man, was the Creator God who spoke the world into existence. No wonder the winds and waves obeyed His words!
Mary Baker, in 1874, captured the essence of this Bible passage in her beautiful poem, entitled "Master the Tempest is Raging," that was later set to music.
Master, the tempest is raging!
The billows are tossing high!
The sky is o’ershadowed with blackness,
No shelter or help is nigh;
Carest Thou not that we perish?
How canst Thou lie asleep,
When each moment so madly is threat’ning
A grave in the angry deep?
The winds and the waves shall obey Thy will,
Peace, be still!
Whether the wrath of the storm-tossed sea,
Or demons or men, or whatever it be,
No waters can swallow the ship where lies
The Master of ocean, and earth, and skies;
They all shall sweetly obey Thy will,
Peace, be still! Peace, be still!
They all shall sweetly obey Thy will,
Peace, peace, be still!
Master, with anguish of spirit
I bow in my grief today;
The depths of my sad heart are troubled—
Oh, waken and save, I pray!
Torrents of sin and of anguish
Sweep o’er my sinking soul;
And I perish! I perish! dear Master—
Oh, hasten, and take control.
Master, the terror is over,
The elements sweetly rest;
Earth’s sun in the calm lake is mirrored,
And heaven’s within my breast;
Linger, O blessed Redeemer!
Leave me alone no more;
And with joy I shall make the blest harbor,
And rest on the blissful shore.
Go, then, dear child of God, walk in the joy and peace of the Lord, looking forward to the day when we will truly "rest on the blissful shore."
How poignant these words seem in light of the fact that one of my dearest Christian friends just entered that blissful shore the night before I wrote this devotional. Your sweet words and vibrant faith will be dearly missed, Debbie Schafer!