And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. (Mt 8:24)
Jesus always had peace, no matter what the situation he was in. Nothing caught him unaware, nothing caused him to panic or worry. If we want to see a perfect example of the peace of God, the peace that surpasses all understanding, the peace that characterises the Kingdom, we only need to look at Jesus.
In a mid-week meeting last week, a lady in our church fellowship, Sarah, had a great insight into the nature of God's peace:
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. (Jn 16:33)
Her insight was this: In the world we have trouble, but in Jesus we have peace.
The two are not mutually exclusive. Indeed as we see from the account of the strom - the two can happen at the same time. If we are in Jesus, then we are in his peace. We can know that peace, even in the midst of the worst storm that life can throw at us.
It is a peace of knowing who is in control. It is a peace from knowing that the one who only needs to give the word in in same boat with you. No matter how grim it may look in the middle, if Jesus is with you, you can be confident of reaching the other side. He wants us to know his peace.
I like this account of Jesus asleep in the storm for another reason. Some years ago, about 1998, I think, I was in a town just outside Atlanta, Georgia, USA on a business trip. I went to bed in my hotel room, and woke up the next day and went down for breakfast. Later than usual my colleague appeared looking red-eyed and weary. "You sleep well?" he said with a strange look. "Yes thanks" I replied. He stared at me incredulously for a moment, then said - "You are joking aren't you!?" When I asked what this was all about, he pointed me to the TV and the news it was playing. A tornado had passed within a mile of our hotel that night, ripping off roofs and leaving a trail of devastation. Most of the other guests had been huddled in the hotel lobby under blankets all night. I was asleep on the top floor, totally oblivious.
I think I knew something of Jesus anointing of peace that night!
Though, almost a decade later I think I must have lost some of it! Last night a tornado hit Nuneaton. It was five miles away, and a much weaker storm, but I did wake up... breifly!