I continue to meditate this week on Jesus' penetrating question to the disciples who were with him in a boat, on the Sea of Galilee, facing a fierce storm that threatened their lives. It is a question he still asks of all those who follow and falter,
Why can't you trust me? (Luke 8:25)
How would you answer that question? How do you answer it now, as he gently asks it of you, in the midst of your life, overcome by fear? You feel weak. Anything but strong.
I was reminded of an article by pastor Ray Ortlund, in which he unpacks Isaiah 30:15, " “In quietness and trust shall be your strength.” There is help here in dealing with Jesus' gentle rebuke. Help toward a life of trust.
The greatest power in all this world is not military or political or sexual or commercial. The greatest power, which will outlast all others (“above all earthly powers”), resides deep within the simplest believer. Quietness of heart before God, trusting in him, is our strength, and there is no greater strength.
Alec Motyer comments insightfully, “Quietness is the absence of panic and restlessness. It is the product not of refusal to face life but of insistence upon taking God into account in trust.”
This quietness is not denial but indeed its opposite. It is facing God, taking God as God fully into account, treating God as more real than everything so firmly set against us, including our own needs and sins, because he is more real.
Quietness of heart is not outwardly impressive. Which is why we sometimes get nervous, why trusting in God can feel like skating on thin ice. But it is God’s good wisdom — and there is no other — for the display of his all-sufficiency.
Quietness of heart before God is where fugitives stop running, and start resting, and become stalwarts and overcomers, because God himself is there.
Quietness. The absence of panic and restlessness. It was quietness that Jesus was personifying as he lay asleep in the stern of that boat. It was panic and restlessness that the disciples were personifying as they ran about, shaking Jesus, shouting, "We perish! We perish!"
Friends, may we take God "as more real than everything so firmly set against us...because he is more real." O, may we stop running and start resting. Trusting. Who is this man, that even the winds and the waves obey him?
He is our Savior and King, Rescuer and Deliverer, Mighty Hope and Strong Tower, Jesus Christ, the Lord!