TEXT: Matthew 8:23-27
IN the country where Jesus lived when He was here on earth was a pretty blue lake. Maybe Jesus had caught fish in this lake. He had some friends who were fishermen and they kept their boat in the lake all the time. There were little green hills around the lake, and lots of times Jesus went up on a hill and told the people about God. Jesus liked this lake of Galilee.
One time when Jesus was very tired He asked His helpers to get into a boat with Him and row across to the other side of the lake. Jesus had been teaching people about God all day long. He had been making sick people well.
The people loved Jesus so much that they followed. Him everywhere He went. Lots and lots of people were with Jesus all the time. They liked to hear His kind voice as He told them things about Heaven; they liked to watch Him bless the little children that stood near Him.
Jesus loved all these people and He was glad to help them and teach them, but at the end of the day He felt tired and He needed a rest. Perhaps sometimes He would walk around the lake to the other side but this time He wanted to go in the boat.
Jesus got into the boat. The people stayed on the shore and watched Him start for the other side of the lake. It was so quiet and cool on the water. The tiny little waves went swishity-swish, swishity-swish against the sides of the boat. The people could not reach Jesus here. This was a good place for Him to be all alone with His helpers and rest and talk to them.
How nice and quiet it was with the wind blowing so softly and the boat rocking back and forth gently in the water! It made Jesus feel a little sleepy. He went to the back of the boat and lay down for a while to rest. Soon Jesus was fast asleep. The boat rocked back and forth something like a rocking chair.
Pretty soon the little gentle wind got bigger and stronger. The nice white clouds in the sky got blacker and blacker. The tiny little swishy waves got bigger and bigger until they were so big they almost came into the boat.
My, how that wind did blow! O-O-O-O-O, went the wind. O-O-O-O! It blew the waves real high and the little boat began to rock and tip in the water.
The big, dark clouds made the sky black. The noisy wind blew harder and harder. OO-oo-oo. Still the waves got higher and higher and the helpers in the boat did not like it. They could not make the little boat go where they wanted it to go because the waves pushed it up and down and around. The wind blew in their faces and they could hardly stand up. Where was Jesus? He was so tired, He was asleep and did not wake up.
Jesus’ helpers were really afraid now because it was a bad storm and the boat was too little to be out in waves that high. The wind was blowing so hard, too, that they were afraid the boat would tip over and throw them all in that cold, rough water.
It was not very far to the other side of the lake but they could not get there in such a big storm. Maybe the boat would sink, they thought. The water would be too cold and the wind too strong for them to swim to shore. They were really afraid now, so they went to the back of the boat and there was Jesus asleep. The storm did not bother Him.
“Jesus! Jesus!” the helpers called. “Jesus, wake up! We are in a big storm and our boat is getting water in it.”
Jesus woke up and looked at His helpers. He could see that they were afraid. They were as afraid as they could be. Oh, how frightened they were! Jesus looked at the water. It was tossing real high waves and some of the water was coming into the boat. The wind was still blowing so hard it was tipping the boat way over to one side and then to the other. My, such a howling noise that wind made, as if it were mad at somebody!
Jesus stood up in the boat. He was not afraid. He said to the wind and the waves, “Peace, be still.” Suddenly it was still. The wind stopped blowing; the waves were real little again and went swish, swish, like they did before. The water was quiet and still. It was so peaceful.
Jesus’ helpers were so surprised. They had seen Jesus do many, many things that were wonderful, like healing sick people, making the blind to see, and now He had just said a few little words and the big, tossing waves stopped and the strong wind stopped. It was all peaceful and still on the lake again.