Editorial: Being calm in the midst of the storm

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One day, a group of guys and Jesus climbed into a boat and set off across a lake to get to the other side (Mark 4:35-41). Once they got into the middle of a lake so big it was called a “sea,” a severe storm hit them. The wind whipped the waves into breakers threatening to sink the boat, taking the men with it.

The men were anxious. They were doing all they could to keep the boat afloat.

Meanwhile, Jesus was asleep at the back of the boat.

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A few weeks ago, we saw the storm clouds building. We set sail, anyway.

Now, we’re away from shore, and the storm is all around us. While we do all we can to keep the boat afloat, we keep hearing people speak of peace, and all we can think is, “This is no time for sleeping!”

It seems easy for Jesus to sleep in the storm, but what about us? How can we be like Jesus and rest during the storm?

Jesus in the boat

First, remember what Jesus did before he got in the boat.

Before Jesus and his disciples climbed in the boat, Jesus healed many people, demonstrating his power over the natural world. And his disciples were there when he did it. The crowds followed Jesus, not only because of his teachings, but because of his incredible works.

Remember what Jesus did before he got in the boat.

Second, remember Jesus was in the boat, too.

Jesus wasn’t looking to drown. And Jesus wasn’t looking for any of the guys in the boat to drown. Jesus intended to get to the other side of the lake. There was more work for him to do over there.

Remember, Jesus was in the boat, too.

Third, Jesus knew something no one else in the boat knew. Jesus knew even the biggest storms are just storms. He knew the storm was coming. He knew it would be rough. He knew his disciples would be scared. And he knew he could tame the storm.

Remember, Jesus knows what we don’t know.

It’s easy to say, “Remember, Jesus … ” It’s harder to be calm while we’re in a boat seesawing in the waves. Even if Jesus is in the boat with us.

Maybe it helps to remember being calm doesn’t mean you don’t feel afraid.

Maybe it helps to remember being calm doesn’t mean you don’t feel afraid.

Reporting from the boat

Reporting and publishing during the last week has been extraordinary, like the whirling winds of a storm. It’s difficult to get our bearings sometimes with the news and responses coming in so fast. We understand how your heads must be spinning.

Something keeping us calm in the boat during this storm is being mindful of the mission and our core commitments that have guided us all along.

Our mission at the Baptist Standard is to inform, inspire and challenge people to live like Jesus. Everything we published during the last week and will publish in the weeks ahead as we endure the coronavirus pandemic goes through that filter—inform, inspire, challenge for the purpose of living like Jesus.

Our core commitments are historic Baptist principles, responsible journalism and the redeeming and reconciling work of Jesus Christ.

We have held and will hold to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, the authority of Scripture, salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, the priesthood of the believer and religious liberty.

Responsible journalism means we are committed to reporting the truth fairly. Sometimes the truth is unpleasant, but the gospel demands we face the truth squarely.

We don’t publish news, opinion and resources just to publish news, opinion and resources. Everything we publish is a part of the redeeming and reconciling work of Jesus Christ. This work includes difficult stories, discussion and debate, all pointing to new life in Jesus.

Holding to our mission and core commitments stays our mind on you, our readers. More importantly, it stays our mind on Christ.

Through the storm

I am mindful of you and am praying for you regularly.

As long as we are riding the waves of the coronavirus pandemic, we are riding them together. And Jesus is in the boat.

While the storm rages, remember the rest of the story. The boat did make it safely to shore. When they reached the other side of the lake, Jesus got out of the boat and freed a man of a tormenting spirit.

As Jesus got back in the boat, the man—with his own inner storm gone—wanted to go with him. Jesus said, “Instead of going with me, go home and tell everyone what the Lord has done for you” (Mark 5:19, paraphrase).

Yes, Jesus knew something his disciples didn’t know. He knew he could handle any storm.

When this storm is past, may we be as changed as the man freed by Jesus.

Eric Black is the executive director, publisher and editor of the Baptist Standard. He can be reached at eric.black@baptiststandard.com or on Twitter at @EricBlackBSP. The views expressed are those solely of the author.


We seek to inform, inspire and challenge you to live like Jesus. Click to learn more about Following Jesus.

If we achieved our goal—or didn’t—we’d love to hear from you. Send an email to Eric Black, our editor. Maximum length for publication is 250 words.

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