And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
Mark 4:35-41 gives the account of Jesus calming the wind and the waves on the Sea of Galilee. Jesus told the disciples in verse 35 “Let’s go across to the other side.”(ESV) While Jesus was sleeping on a cushion in the back of the boat, the wind began to blow furiously. As a result, the waves grew so high the boat began to take on water. The disciples were terrified!
I have a deep appreciation for this kind of terror. Several years ago, we took our 21’ fishing boat to the Florida Keys for the weekend. We were novice boaters, with less than 20 boat rides under our belt. To add to our inexperience, the Gulf of Mexico was the only water we had ever navigated. That weekend we discovered there is a BIG difference between a windy day on the Gulf and a windy day on the Atlantic Ocean.
We planned an all-day fishing trip on a reef about six miles from shore on the Atlantic side of the Keys. We woke up that morning to 18mph winds (not ideal boating conditions but we only had a few days to spend on the water). We knew it would be a bumpy day, but we had experienced windy days on the gulf and thought we could tough it out.
After a long, bumpy ride, we finally arrived at the reef. But the waves were so high we decided to head back to shore. This is when things got worse. The waves grew so large, and our boat was so small that as it crested on the top of a wave, we sat there for a couple seconds with the propeller exposed. The engine was at full throttle, but the boat was going so slowly it felt like we were standing still. Between the sound of the crashing waves and the exposed propeller the sound was deafening.
In Mark’s gospel account of the stormy boat ride, the disciples woke Jesus in the middle of the raging sea and asked, “Don’t you care we are perishing?” Jesus replied, “Why are you so afraid?” Jesus seemed to be asking, “Don’t you trust me yet?” Jesus had already said, “Let’s go to the other side of the lake.” Every word that Jesus says is true, so when he said this He was telling them “we are going to the other side of this lake.” But in the middle of the raging sea they forgot what he said.
What is it about the storms of life that causes me to forget what His Word tells me? He promises, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deut. 31:8) But when I walk in something God has called me to do, and it becomes difficult or doesn’t look like I thought it would, I become fearful and think “this time He is going to leave me, and I will fall flat on my face.” The promise of Proverbs 3:5-6, tells us that when you trust the Lord instead of yourself, He will make your path straight. Unfortunately, when I have been insulted or upset, I will turn to what I see and feel instead of what I know God’s word says, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”(Proverbs 15:1)
In the middle of the raging sea, Jesus said three words, “Peace be still,” and creation immediately obeyed. Jesus is the One who is for us, not against us. Jesus is the One who died so we might come to know and love Him. Jesus is the One who asks us, to trust Him in the middle of the raging storms of life and whispers to our hearts “Peace be still.”
My precious husband, Bill, and I have been planted in Fort Myers, Florida for almost 35 years. As a newly married couple, God most graciously had placed people in both of our jobs to share Christ with us. Its hard to believe it has been almost 34 years since we asked Jesus into our hearts! Bill and I have been blessed with four children, 3 daughters, then a son. These blessings came quickly, all within 6 years!! During these years I'm so thankful I was able to be part of women's ministry classes at our church, helping me to grow in my walk with Him. Then came the day when I was asked that question that stretched me way outside of my comfort zone...will you teach a class? Its hard to believe that I have now been teaching more than 20 years. Bill and I love to travel, most of the time going to visit our 9 grandchildren, oh ya, and their parents! I also love reading, walking and hanging out with some very special young moms in Beloved that bless my socks off!
Julie is a Kansas girl who resides in sunny Southwest Florida. She's been married to her husband Sean for 23 years and they share two boys ages 21 & 17. She enjoys baking and biking, but her absolute favorite thing is snow skiing which is a little difficult to do in a sandy 80 degree land.
She became a follower of Christ at age 10. She loves studying and teaching God's Word. She has a passion for encouraging moms to love and follow Jesus.
Beth grew up in a loving home; however, in her early 20s she faced a very lonely time. During that time, she cried out to God and asked “If You are real, please show yourself to me!” God met her where she was and she trusted in the Lord Jesus at that time. Her life verse and desire is “no matter what happens, to conduct herself in a manner worthy of the gospel.” Philippians 1:27
Beth now resides in Tampa, Florida with her husband Larry. The Lord has blessed them by blending their family of five children. They currently have eight grandchildren and are hoping that there will be more grandchildren in the future.
Donna accepted Jesus as her Savior at the age of nine and has been amazed at God’s goodness and faithfulness throughout her life. She has been blessed to have had many mentors through each season of life, who have shown her what trusting God looks like. Donna and her husband, Bryan, have five children, one son-in-law, one soon to be daughter-in-law, and one wonderful grandson. Donna and Bryan have recently moved back to their home state of Arkansas after livingin southeast Alabama the past 23 years. Donna enjoys spending time with her family, laughing with friends (usually over coffee), going for long walks with her husband, and reading a good book (which may also be accompanied by a cup of coffee).
Sarah is a true Florida Cracker. She was born and raised in Southwest Florida. At the age of 6, Sarah accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior, and she hasn't looked back since. Hebrews 13:8 is one of her favorite verses, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." Eating delicious desserts, spending time with her family and friends, and teaching people about Jesus are a few of the things she enjoys to do in her spare time.
Sarah has been married to her best friend and husband, Brandon, for 7 years. They have been blessed with one beautiful, determined son, Asher, who keeps them on their toes. Sarah and her family live in the Tampa area. They love exploring their community together, family hugs, and eating pizza whenever possible.
Katie Flint just recently moved back home to Fort Myers, Florida with her husband, Ryan and two children, Collins and Madden. At the age of 5, Katie accepted Jesus Christ to be the Lord and Savior of her life, after attending Vacation Bible School. Through each phase of her life, God has shown her that He alone is trustworthy. The verse that has been her life source is Psalm 46:10- “Be still and know that I am God.”
She is a stay-at-home mom and enjoys exercising and baking. She has been married to her husband Ryan for almost 9 years, who is her high school sweetheart. They enjoy trying new restaurants, family trips to the beach, and relaxing at home.
Marsha grew up in a small rural town in upstate New York. In 2006, after finishing college, she moved to sunny SW Florida where she met her, now husband, Shawn. Together they enjoy spending family time with their two fun-loving toddler boys Zachariah and Kairos.
Marsha enjoys living an active lifestyle, which is helpful, considering that her favorite hobby is baking.
Though she attended church as a child, Marsha was not saved until adulthood when her eyes were finally opened to the love and mercy of Jesus Christ.
Since being saved, God has placed a loving burden on her heart to share the truth about God’s healing grace with those who may feel like forgiveness is not possible for them.