By Naomi Auerbach, age 14
Picture this; it is dusk and you are sitting in a boat, sailing into the sea of Galilee.
“And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling.” The disciples were afraid with panic-like fear. But Jesus was in the stern asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” (Mark 4:38)
The word for perishing is literally “being destroyed.” This is the problem here. The disciples are afraid; they’re panicking, and it seems like Jesus does not care about them. There are many people who ask during troubling times like this, “Where is God?” There are times when us Christians will even wonder, “God, what are You doing? Where are You in this? Don’t You care? Won’t You stop this pandemic? People are dying here.” It’s interesting that the only time in all of the Gospels that we’re specifically told of Jesus sleeping, is right here in the middle of a storm. Apparently He is not panicked.
“And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” (Mark 4:39) And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. So Jesus wakes up in the middle of a storm, and rebukes the wind. Jesus is talking to nature like He knows it. And not just like He knows it, but like He has authority over it. He said to them, “Why are you so afraid?”
He goes on to say…
“Have you still no faith?”
In the middle of this pandemic, do not fear. For all of you who have faith in God, you have no reason for anxious fear in this world. You have no reason to fear during times like this when the whole world is engulfed in so much fear.
So watch this. After Jesus speaks, what does the Bible say?
“And they were filled with great fear…”
The word that’s used for fear here is a word that means reverence or awe in the face of a powerful and intimidating force. They were filled with such a fear in that moment.
Think about it. Why do we panic? Why do we worry? I think there are two main reasons. One: we don’t know what’s going to happen in the future and we are afraid of what could happen. If we knew everything was going to be fine, we wouldn’t panic or worry. Two: we panic or worry because of our lack of power; it’s something we can’t control and that makes us feel helpless. That is why there is panic and worry in this pandemic. We don’t know how this virus works and we are helpless to stop it from spreading. None of us knows what tomorrow holds and we lack knowledge and power against this virus. No vaccines, no cure.
But think about God. He never panics or worries—why? Because He is all knowing and always knows what is coming tomorrow. As it says earlier, He not only knows what’s coming tomorrow, He holds tomorrow in His hands. God has all knowledge, all power, and He has authority over all things, including the wind and the waves, this sickness and death. God, with all knowledge and all power, is with you. Not only is He with you, but He cares for you.
1 Peter 5:7 Casting all your anxieties on him because he cares for you.
This is an overview of David Platt’s sermon, Peace in the Middle of a Pandemic.