When I speak at parishes and conferences around the country, one of my favorite Bible passages to discuss is “Jesus Calms The Storm At Sea” (Matthew 8:23-27). Basically, the disciples follow Jesus into a boat, a great storm arises, and the Lord calms the sea. Simple, right? Unfortunately, this story is so simple that we often miss some key points. If you’re struggling to stop worrying about Ebola, Isis, the stock market, personal health issues, job loss or many other problems, here are 5 important lessons you can learn from this powerful story:
1. The Disciples Followed Jesus – When Jesus got into the boat, the disciples followed Him. We should do the same thing every day. Following Jesus faithfully will not only help you to stop worrying, but it will get you to heaven!
2. Even Followers Of Jesus Have Problems – Just because we’re followers of Jesus doesn’t mean that we won’t have storms in our lives. On the other hand, following Jesus will give you peace, even in the midst of those storms. (Matthew 11:28)
3. Don’t Panic If Jesus Is Silent – Even though Jesus was asleep in the boat, He was very much in control of the situation. If it seems like He has deserted you, don’t worry…He is right beside you!
4. Cry Out For Help – While it is true that the disciples panicked when the storm arose, they had enough faith to do something very productive – they asked Jesus to help them. Worry is always useless, but prayer is always effective. Although we may not get exactly what we want, we will get what we need.
5. Learn To Look Back – After Jesus calmed the storm, “the men marveled” (Mt. 8:27). Looking back at the many times Jesus has helped you is sure to increase your faith and help you to deal with future problems.
Just as He did 2,000 years ago, Jesus can calm the storms in your life and help you to experience peace. Imitating the disciples at sea is a great idea. Give it a try and see what happens!