9 May 2012

Luke 8:16-25

"And [Jesus] woke up and rebuked the wind and the raging waves; they ceased and there was a calm." (v. 24)


Many years ago I travelled to Israel with a church group. For part of our time we stayed in Tiberius on the shore of Lake Galilee. The lake nestles in a bowl created by surrounding hills and is considerably bigger than my imagination had ever allowed it to be.

One night we were suddenly awoken by the most tremendous storm. Thunder and lightening split the skies and a furious wind whipped around the buildings shaking shutters and ripping palm branches from the trees.

As suddenly as it started, it stopped, and all was silent and calm, an eerie and impossible stillness. The only evidence for the reality of the storm the next day were scattered debris, tumbled bins and assorted litter, thrown around patio furniture and the odd shutter ripped from its hinges.

Having experienced such a sudden tempest I now read today's passage with greater understanding of the feelings of the disciples!

The shock I experienced mirrors the terror of the disciples convinced that they were going to drown. The suddenness of the storm we experienced mirrors the suddenness of their storm too - how glad I was to be feeling it under secure shelter and on dry land, and not in a boat on the lake itself!

The sudden cessation of all of the drama was, in our case as in the disciples, absolute.

It was an awesome experience - one I would not be in a hurry to repeat. It spoke to me of the power and might of nature and of our own smallness in the midst of such tremendous forces.

No wonder the disciples were dumbfounded in the presence of such command and control - 'Peace, be still' - and it was!

To Ponder

  • Where are the storms in your life right now? What are you struggling with?
  • Have you considered asking God to calm them in yourself or in the circumstances you are facing? If not, why not?

Bible notes author

The Revd Una McLean

Una is a Methodist minister currently working in North Wales. Before becoming a minister she worked as an occupational therapist for 20 years in fields as varied as elderly care, adult mental health and paediatrics.