We live in tumultuous times. Although the worst of Covid appears to be over, there is still the danger a mutation can cause havoc again. The financial crisis continues, with unemployment the highest it has ever been globally. And then there are those natural disasters that are striking with increasing frequency. Even if we get through all these things, we never know when the next storm will hit us, or how.
This is when we need to turn to Jesus who says in words we have heard so often: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid” (John 14:27). “But,” you ask, “where is the peace he promises? Things are only going from bad to worse!” Well, this is what we need to understand.
We believe that peace is obtained when strife is eliminated, when storms are stilled. But that is the world’s definition of peace, and it can never give us that because the world is never at peace. At best, it offers occasional truces that don’t last for more than a few weeks, if even that. The peace that Jesus provides, on the other hand, can be obtained even in the middle of strife and storms because he is with us. The trick is remembering to focus on him.
A few years ago, I was on a mission in the Caribbean. When sailing from one island to the next, we were hit by bad weather. Most of the passengers were by the side of the boat, heaving their lunches overboard. I might have joined them had I not discovered an antidote! There was a huge rock in the distance, and I realized that if I kept my eyes fixed on it, I didn’t feel quite so nauseous with all the rocking and the rolling
Life is like riding a boat. Sometimes it is smooth sailing; often, it is not. We can get pretty sick when it starts to spin us around. However, if we can keep our eyes fixed on another rock—the Rock of Salvation—we can get through the storms in relative calm. And this “Rock” is, of course, Jesus, not Dwayne Johnson.
We had a live demonstration of this truth when Peter walked on water in the middle of a storm. As long as he kept his eyes on Jesus, he was fine. “But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” (Matthew 14:30).
Moral of the story: Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus, and you will walk through storms and only get a little wet! Let me know how this works the next time you hit a storm!