Encouraged in Nelson's Art Gallery
When my husband and I visited Kansas City's Nelson Art Gallery, he detected a detail I had missed while looking at a painting of Christ on the Sea of Galilee. The painting pictured the frightened disciples in the mist of a violent storm. While the panicked disciples tried to bail the water out of the boat, Jesus slept peacefully.
The detail that I had missed was the demonic looking face peering through the stormy waves. This storm was unlike any other the disciples had encountered. Herbert Stevenson in Titles of the Triune God says that the Gospel narrative suggests that the storm was satanic in origin. Although the disciples were good sailors, this storm was too much for them. As the boat filled with water, in panic they cried, "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?"
Jesus simply said, "Peace, be still," and the sea calmed immediately. It was as if the water said, "My Master just spoke; I'll have to be quiet now.
Then Jesus rebuked the disciples wondering why they had not believed. After all, Jesus had said, "Let's go to the other side" when they left. If Jesus said that, they could be certain nothing would prevent their arriving safely. A storm would not hinder God's plans.
His stilling of the waters symbolizes what He is able to do in the storms of our lives. Soon after that, a storm came into my life. I would think of that painting and picture myself asleep with Jesus. He was in charge and would accomplish His purposes. I could rest in that truth and be calm and unafraid.
Dear Jesus, help me to simply trust You knowing that with You within, I can be calm and unafraid.
"Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?" (Mark 4:40).
"Be still, and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10).