“And when he got inot the boat, his disciples followed him. And behold, there areose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves, but he was asleep. And they went and woke him saying, “Save us Lord; we are perishing.” And he said to them, “Why are you afaid, o you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm and the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even the winds and sea obey him?” Matthew 8:23-27
“And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But he was asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and sea obey him?” Mark 4:37-41
“And as they sailed he fell asleep and a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water and in danger. And the went and woke him saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing.” And he awoke and rebuked the wond and the raging waves, and they ceased, and there was a calm. He said to them, “Where is your faith?” And they were afraid, and they marveled, saying to one another, “Who then is this, that he commands even winds and water, and they obey him?” Luke 8:23-25
I love the picture in my head of these three accounts of Jesus’ experience with His followers. Can’t you just picture the disciples watching this storm hit, frantically trying to keep afloat while their boat fills up with water, getting sea sick from the dramatic tossing about of their ship, fearing for certain they are dead. These fishermen knew what to do in a storm and yet THIS storm was wrecking them physically as well as emotionally. In the chaos of the situation, I imagine no one even thought to ask where Jesus was, I bet they figured He was somewhere on the boat panicing like they were. And can’t you just see that someone, out of the corner of their eye, looks in Jesus’ direction and realizes He’s lying there not moving. Oh man, you can bet the first thought was that He must be dead! And as this disciple gets closer he realizes that Jesus isn’t dead, He’s SLEEPING!! What?! Sleeping?! Can you even imagine how you would feel? Take just a moment to picture this scenario in your mind and feel the emotion behind this discovery.
If it had been me, I would have been mad. I would have been thinking who on earth is this guy that we follow Him and yet He’s asleep at what is our last hour! And anyways, what kind of a person can sleep through this storm? He must be suicidal and has given up any hope of living and so He’s ready to die and sleeping through the torment here. I would be beside myself with confusion and anger and sadness. Confusion at how He could sleep, anger at why He would sleep and sadness at that He would sleep. What would you be feeling?
When a storm hits in our lives we see it and react through the lens of human nature and that causes fear. However, when a storm hits our lives God sees it and reacts through the lens eternity and that causes peace. Jesus wasn’t being rude or trying to hurt the feelings of His followers by not responding how they expected, He was simply responding to the storm in light of eternity. He knew that His life was in the hand of His Father and so there was nothing to worry about! His faith was fully and inextricably reliant on God and in that there was no room for fear. There was no need for fear. There was no purpose in fear. There was no fear.
Do you know what inextricably means? Just in case you don’t here’s the definition: so entangled as to make escape impossible (dictionary.com). Isn’t that a great word! I don’t know about you, but I want my life so inextricably reliant on God that I can’t escape His love, grace, peace and mercy. I want to be asleep during storms in my life not because I dont’ want to feel them or deal with storms, but because my peace is so amazingly produced by God that I don’t even register that a storm is taking place.
Are you now saying to yourself, no way can I ever produce that kind of faith. I’m not able. I’m too nervous. I’m too anxious. (Are you getting anxious even thinking about trying to NOT be anxious!?) Here’s the awesome thing about God: you can’t do it without Him. Jesus says in John 14:27 that He gave us a gift of His peace! You and I, if we are living our lives surrendered to Jesus, have His peace. We can be asleep during the storms of our lives because He’s given us the gift and power to be inextricably reliant on His, and our, Father. Let that permeate your thoughts right now and relax.
God doesn’t put us through anything we can’t handle and He knows us better than we know ourselves so He knows what our limitations are and He uses storms to grow our faith. Maybe you’re in a storm right now and you are seeing your ship fill up with water and you are certain you are going down this time. Reach out to Jesus and ask Him to calm your storm and remember that you have His peace available to you. Maybe you’re in a calm place right now and you know that the way you’ve reacted in the past to storms isn’t peaceful. Start praying about how to react peacefully in the next storm now and build your faith through God’s Word. Maybe you’ve never considered giving your life to Jesus and feeling His peace. Turn to Him now and He’ll be right there to give you His peace.
Jesus, thank you for having so much faith that Your peace allowedyyou to go through storms asleep. Thank you for giving us Your peace. Help us remember to turn to You in our storms and know that You have us and the situation under control. Remind us that we can’t do anything without Your power and Your peace. Take our lives Lord, and help us be fully surrendered to You and live in Your love, grace, peace and mercy. You are good all the time and You never leave us alone. Help us to never leave you alone. Amen.
If you need prayer, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Live in God’s love, grace, peace and mercy because it’s the only way to truly live.
Love, grace, peace and mercy to you,