dark blue waves in a storm

Finding Peace in the Midst of the Storm

When I’m home with a sick kid for the third week in a row, when Peter and I repeat the same conflict week after week, when there are too many things to do and I’m disappointing myself and others, when I find myself in the midst of the storm… I want peace and quiet and warmth and security. I want the storm to be over. But lately I’ve been wondering—what if God wants me to learn how to find peace in the midst of the storm?

There’s a story in Matthew 14 where the disciples are crossing the Sea of Galilee in the middle of a storm in the middle of the night. Jesus is also crossing in the middle of the storm in the middle of the night, but he is doing this by walking on water. Eventually he calls Peter to come to him on the water. Peter looks at Jesus and walks on water. But then he sees the wind and the waves, begins to sink, and cries out. Jesus pulls him up. They return to the boat. And then Jesus calms the sea.

In an ancient view of the cosmos, the sea is the realm of chaos and destruction. And all the more so when it is swirling and dark. In this story, Jesus is able to walk into the middle of the darkness, into the middle of the chaos. He holds the power to calm the sea, but he also can walk through the chaos without losing his step.

He invites Peter to do the same. I wonder whether he invites me to learn how to do the same. To learn how to stay in the storm and have peace. To learn how to bring that peace to others who are stuck in the swirling chaos of this world.

I’m like Peter, for sure. If I ever take a calm step in the storm, it is only because I am looking at Jesus, and it only lasts for a moment. I get distracted and panicked by the wind and the waves. But even then, even then, I cry out for help. And immediately he is there to save me from sinking, return me to the boat, and calm the sea.


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