He calms the storm, So that its waves are still. (Psalm 107:29, N.K.J.V.)
Perhaps you’ve heard the expression, “Somebody got my goat.” Or perhaps you’ve heard someone say, “That person really gets my goat.” To get someone’s goat is to irritate them, make them angry, or unsettle them.
The origin of “Somebody got my goat” is a little unclear, but the idiom is usually attributed to horseracing. As the legend goes, a horse trainer would sometimes calm a high strung horse on the night before a race by putting a goat in the stall with the horse. For some reason, a goat seemed to have a calming influence on a horse. But then there were times when a rival trainer would steal a goat right out of the stall of an opposing horse, and the horse would revert back to its edgy, jumpy nature. Upon finding that the goat had been stolen, the horse’s trainer would say, “Somebody got my goat.”
Tell me, Christian, has someone, some circumstance, or some bit of recent news gotten your goat? Has that person or that thing that has happened robbed you of your inner peace and left you unsettled? If so, you would do well to read Psalm 107.
That Psalm is chocked full of illustrations involving people who found themselves in trouble, called out to the Lord for help, and experienced His deliverance. I particularly love verses 23-30, which use sailors as an illustration. The sailors go down to the sea to do business on the great waters (v.23). Once they are out to sea in their merchant ships, they see how God works in the depths of the ocean (v.24). He commands the winds to blow during a storm, and the winds churn up the ocean waves (v.25). Up and down the waves go, rising higher and higher each time they come up, and they cause the sailors’ hearts to melt (v.26). In a panic, the sailors stagger and pitch, trying their best not to get knocked overboard (v.27). It is then that they cry out to the Lord (v.28) and experience the deliverance He provides by calming the storm and stilling the waves (v.29). Then the sailors are glad, and the Lord guides them to their desired haven (v.30).
It is impossible to read that passage and not think of the time when Jesus quieted a raging storm upon the Sea of Galilee and calmed the dangerous waves the storm had created. The parallel accounts of that story are found in Matthew 8:23-27, Mark 4:35-41, and Luke 8:22-25. As Mark 4:39 says:
Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. (N.K.J.V)
But then there is another famous story involving Jesus, a big wind, and scary waves. The parallel accounts of that story are found in Matthew 14:22-33, Mark 6:45-52, and John 6:15-21, and in it Jesus walks upon the tumultuous waves straight through the teeth of a windstorm to reach His chosen 12 apostles on the Sea of Galilee. Only when Jesus joins the apostles in the boat do the wind and the waves turn calm. As Mark 6:51 says:
Then He went up into the boat to them, and the wind ceased. And they were greatly amazed in themselves beyond measure, and marveled. (N.K.J.V.)
The point of both stories is that Jesus can bring calmness to situations that are raging and terrifying. If you want Him to do that in your life, though, you must have Him in your boat. Of course, if you are an authentic Christian, you do have Him in your boat, don’t you? So, your best move is to cry out to Him and ask Him to calm the storm in your life. Like those sailors in Psalm 107, you too can be guided to your desired haven by the Lord because, after all, who needs a goat when you have Jesus?