When the three of us were in that storm and the boat was sinking lower and lower in the angry seas, I was frightened. But I wasn’t truly scared until my husband leaned down and said into my ear, “Leslie, if we don’t make it, I want you to know I love you!” I began to panic then, looking around at the wind and waves, just like Peter did before he began to sink.
Then, just as suddenly I remembered this truth that shone over the dark waves: no matter what happened, even if we should die, we were safe. All three of us in that struggling boat knew Jesus. We knew he was with us. We knew that even death would not separate us from our Savior. We knew, in fact, that should we die, we would be safe with him. I was not ready to die that day, and I knew I would fight it with every bit of strength I had, but I held on to that hope like a life preserver.
The disciples in both storms were not safe, however, because they didn’t yet know who Jesus was. I believe Jesus rescued them both times not just to save them from death, but to save them from a worse fate: from unbelief.
In this life, we know we’re not always healed. Not everyone is saved from cancer. Not every car misses the collision. Not every sickness ends. Not every sinking boat is righted. Death often appears to be the worst of all possible outcomes. But it’s not. Our real enemy is not that which kills the body, but that which kills the soul. It is sin, alienation from God, that destroys the soul. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (romans 6:23).
Jesus’s death on the cross has already calmed the one storm we cannot survive: the storm of sin and death. Jesus has overcome the evil one. He has died to pay the price of all our sin. If we trust Jesus, when our bodies die, as someday they must, we move to the fullest life possible:
For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
“Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?” (1 corinthians 15:53–57)
Do you know who Jesus is? Do you know he is the God over heaven and earth who has come for you? He has come to end the storm of sin and death in your life. When we confess our wrongdoings against God and choose to follow Jesus instead of ourselves, the storm is calmed. No matter what happens, we are safe. For always.