THE GREAT CALM
"Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid." —Mark 6:50
"It is I" (or as our old version has it, more in accordance with the original), "I AM! do not be afraid!" Jesus lives! His people may dispel their misgivings—Omnipotence treads the waves! To sense it may seem at times to be otherwise—wayward accident and chance may appear to regulate human allotments; but not so: "The Lord's voice is upon the waters"—He sits at the helm guiding the tempest-tossed bark, and guiding it well.
How often does He come to us as He did to the disciples in that midnight hour when all seems lost—"in the fourth watch of the night,"—when we least looked for Him; or when, like the shipwrecked apostle, "The terrible storm raged unabated for many days, blotting out the sun and the stars, until at last all hope was gone."—how often just at that moment, is the "word of Jesus" heard floating over the billows!
Believer, are you in trouble? listen to the voice in the storm, "Fear not, I AM." That voice, like Joseph's of old to his brethren, may seem rough, but there are gracious undertones of love. "It is I," he seems to say; It was I, that roused the storm; It is I, who when it has done its work, will calm it, and say, "Peace, be still." Every wave rolls at My bidding—every trial is My appointment—all have some gracious end; they are not sent to dash you against the sunken rocks, but to waft you nearer heaven.
It is sickness? I am He who bore your sicknesses; the weary wasted frame, and the nights of languishing, were sent by Me. Is it bereavement? I am "the Brother" born for adversity—the loved and lost were plucked away by Me. Is it death? I am the "Abolisher of death," seated by your side to calm the waves of ebbing life; it is I, about to fetch My pilgrims home—It is My voice that speaks, "The Master has come, and calls for you."
Reader, you will have reason yet to praise your God for every such storm! This is the history of every heavenly voyager—"SO He brings them to their desired haven." "So!" That word, in all its unknown and diversified meaning, is in His hand. He suits His dealings to every case. "So!" With some it is through quiet seas unfretted by one buffeting wave. "So!" With others it is "mounting up to heaven, and going down again to the deep." But whatever be the leading and the discipline, here is the grand consummation, "SO He brings them unto their desired haven." It might have been with you the moanings of an eternal night-blast—no lull or pause in the storm. But soon the darkness will be past, and the hues of morn tipping the shores of glory!
And what, then, should your attitude be? "Looking unto Jesus"—looking away from self, and sin, and human props and refuges and confidences, and fixing the eye of unwavering and unflinching faith on a reigning Savior. Ah, how a real quickening sight of Christ dispels all guilty fears! The Roman keepers of old were frightened, and became as dead men. The lowly Jewish women feared not; why? "I know that you seek Jesus!" Reader, let your weary spirit fold itself to rest under the composing "word" of a gracious Savior, saying—
"I wait for the lord, my soul does wait, and in HIS WORD do I hope."