One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s go over to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and set out. As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!” He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. “Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples. In fear and amazement they asked one another, “Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him” (Luke 8: 22–25, NIV).
Storms have a way of making us afraid.
We might deny our fears; we might pretend all is well; we might work hard in the middle of the thunder. But hidden fears can still control us. Our decisions. Our relationships. Our plans.
In the story, Christ’s disciples felt they were in great danger. They were. Jesus was sleeping through the tempest.
I’ll be honest; I can see why His followers didn’t let His nap continue. They woke Him in desperation. He might be at peace while we are all suffering in angry waves, but I want Him to wake up and help us.
I believe God does work miracles. He may be quiet, His presence unseen. Our prayers may seem directed to a Father who habitually sleeps. But He’s not asleep. He is with us. Can we ask for anything more wonderful? By gracing us with His presence, Jesus gives the greatest gift of all. Even when other people offer us companionship instead of cliché-ridden comments, our lives find enrichment.
But still, I would’ve wanted quick action. Not the slow calming of the storm. I want the storms stopped immediately.
They aren’t stopped, though, are they? The financial storm! The relational storm! The health storm! The business storm! The addiction storm!
Sometimes Jesus seems awake and at work, quickly bringing a solution. Other times? He seems to be asleep.
And that is what He is helping me learn more about. A rest amid a storm. A nap while winds roar. A moment of calmness while everything around is anything but calm. I am trying to learn that. I am trying to live that. It’s not easy. But it is healthy.
His presence adds an interesting aspect to our perception of a dilemma. When we realize that we aren’t alone, we can choose to begin viewing situations the way He does. We normally look at frightening and frustrating detours of life through lenses tinted by hopelessness. Unlimited by time, space, and elements, Christ sees situations differently.
The disciples failed to realize what Jesus knew, that being with Him in the place He wanted them was the safest place on earth. Jesus knew it. The teasing of the storm could not cloud His perspective. Obtaining God’s perspective releases us from this assumption: for all to be well things must turn out the way we feel will be best.