SUMMER PSALMS | FOR SAFETY
He calmed the storm to a whisper and stilled the waves. What a blessing was that stillness that brought them safely into harbor! Psalms 107:29-30
There’s truly no other way to describe a perfect day for me than being surrounded by miles of sugary white sand. People may say the beach is their happy place, and they aren’t wrong!
Have you been at the beach during a big storm? The very spot with some of the prettiest views on this side of heaven takes a turn when the clouds roll in. Still majestic in its iridescent green water and ominous grey sky way, I don’t want to get caught in a serious storm there, do you? And even less do I want to be out in a boat when a massive storm comes. I’m definitely no skilled sailor! But that’s exactly what happens in this passage. The sailors were weathering a storm in their boat at sea, cried out to the Lord, and He saved them (verse 28). The sailors’ desperation reminds me of Matthew 8 when some of Jesus’ disciples were in a boat with Him and a storm came their way too.
“Then Jesus got into the boat and started across the lake with His disciples. Suddenly, a fierce storm struck the lake, with waves breaking into the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke Him up, shouting, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” Matthew 8:23-25
There’s an interesting parallel I find here — both the sailors and the disciples cried out for help in the midst of a troubled storm and sea. And both times the Lord calmed the storm and stilled the waves. But here’s the big difference to me: our Lord Jesus was visibly, physically, present in the boat in Matthew 8, but not in Psalms 107. Why? These Old Testament sailors did not yet have Jesus with them in the first place. He had not yet come, not yet been born here on earth! So as the sailors cried out to our Lord God, I see perhaps a moment of pause here pointing to Jesus’ authority to come, and His saving power beyond sea level. These sailors needed saving from the storm, but even more did they need a Savior. Their sins were the deeper need than even the present situation.
Fast forwarding to Jesus’ response to the disciples and the storm —
“Jesus responded, “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” Then He got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly there was a great calm. The disciples were amazed. “Who is this man?” They asked. “Even the winds and waves obey Him!” Matthew 8:26-27
The disciples had Jesus, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, with them in the boat. Asleep during the storm, He was neither moved, nor surprised by it. He did not question His own authority over the wind and waves, but the disciples faith in Him. But He was quick to act when they called out to Him, and immediately the storm calmed at His command. This moment whispers a deeper promise to come: it is finished. He calmed the storm before them and within them. Soon He would go to the cross and finish the storm of sin and death once and for all. Here again like the sailors in Psalms 107, the disciples' need was deeper. Our Savior Jesus was with them in the boat and would save them beyond the storm.
Yes, the disciples had Jesus, and yet they still were still afraid. So with us sometimes. Jesus is in our life’s boat, but how often do we seem to forget He has authority over the storms that try to rock us? It amazes me how Scripture points to what’s going on within and around us today; things we perhaps can’t control and find increasingly consuming.
But we are not without hope because we know Jesus. He is in our boat. Even the winds and the waves obey Him! He calmed the storm to a whisper and stilled the waves. He will bring us safely back to shore because He is our Rock and Redeemer; our safest place of refuge. Life isn’t guaranteed to be easy or safe or calm, but our hope and trust rests securely in the One who is sovereign over it all. He finished sin and death on the cross so we may always be where He is. May it be so.