Our goal at by design ministries is to encourage you and to strengthen your trust in the Lord during these uncertain and unprecedented times. Over the next few weeks we will be reprising articles from our archive that we hope will inspire you and lead you to look to the one who has our times in His hands. This article was originally published in 2018.
By Kim Stiver
This was the turbulent view out my window on a recent ocean cruise: rolling seas as far as the eye could see, with 20-foot swells, 60 mph winds, and dreary skies. Not exactly the kind of day we’d hoped for on our first morning of a long-awaited tropical vacation.
During one of the many times I was awake during the night, a favorite Bible story came to mind. Matthew 8:23-27 began to play out like a movie in the rocking darkness. There was Jesus, fast asleep on a tiny wooden fishing boat being tossed about on the Sea of Galilee – a mere 26.5 feet long compared to our 965-foot ship. Suddenly I understood the magnitude of Him being able to sleep through the storm. Here I was tossing and turning in a soft bed, and there He was sleeping soundly while 12 other men panicked as water crested the bow and coursed into the boat.
Why did Jesus choose to sleep in the first place? The surface answer is He wanted to demonstrate 100 percent peace and rest in any storm – no matter how wet, cold, and noisy it is. But as I imagined Peter rushing to wake Him up, an unusual thought came to mind: Jesus smiling with his eyes closed. Here are two men in opposite states of mind in the exact same situation. One is in utter panic, fearing for his life and incapable of making sound decisions. And the Other is at total peace. He continues to lie there with a simple, knowing smile on his face as Peter shakes Him forcefully. He knows something Peter doesn’t … yet. He knows that sometimes it is better to ride the waves than fight the current. This is the deeper question Jesus answers for us – when do you rise up and fight the storms and when do you simply yield and ride it out?
Oswald Chambers said, “The surf that distresses the ordinary swimmer, produces in the surfer the super joy of going clean through it.” He cites Romans 8:37, which says we are more than conquerors in Jesus. And Exodus 14:14 says God fights for us. Sometimes He wants us to simply be still and let the current have its way with us. He gently whispers to us about the waves of life, “Stop fighting and instead learn to ride them. Let them take you where I want you to go. Lie in the boat and ride it out with Me. Through Me, you can experience peace and even joy in tribulation.”
In Matthew 11:28, Jesus says He will give us rest. And He didn’t put any caveats on that statement. He will give us rest as we journey through life with Him – in times of peace and times of travail. In the boat of life, Jesus wants you as close to Him as you can get. And sometimes that means He has to rock it to get you to fall back next to Him, right where you belong.
Kim Stiver lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband. After 25 years of professionally writing in the fields of public relations and marketing, she left her corporate career to focus on her greatest passion: helping people discover the unparalleled satisfaction and joy of abiding in an intimate, intensely personal relationship with Jesus. She shares God’s hope and truth as a community pastor for Cornerstone Fellowship Church in Livermore, CA, where she writes Daily Steps, a weekly devotional and shepherds lay ministry leaders of gatherings, Bible studies and classes. Her personal blog and companion podcast Glimmers in the Fog offers encouraging glimpses into the extraordinary and supernatural movement of God in everyday living.
Kim is also one of our featured speakers in the by design Speakers Directory. If you are looking for a Christian speaker for your special event, please visit our online directory or contact us to request a hard copy.