“And when He was entered into a ship, His disciples followed Him. And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but He was asleep.
And His disciples came to Him, and awoke Him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. And He saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then He arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.”
Are you the kind of person who grew up thinking you’d always be able to come up with a plan to solve any concern that crossed your path? Maybe you even believed that once you’d gotten capable enough at fixing problems, the automatic pilot of the good life would take over and you’d reach a day when nothing could faze you; you’d simply be able to sort everything out, box it up by category, and put it neatly on the shelf …..
Seems like nice thinking, right? But as we grow up, we start to figure out that day is never coming.
However, we can avoid storms and upheavals in our lives about as effectively as we can divert weather patterns over our city. Despite occasional blue skies, dark clouds inevitably gather on the horizon, reminding us of our daily need for trusting God. You cannot set your hope on the illusion that you will finally reach a point where life will be nothing but smooth sailing from here on out. Just about the time you think, “oh, I don’t really need to pray that much this week” — Bam!! Reality hits. The fact is, this side of heaven, there will never be a day you won’t need to trust the God who loves you, nor cease praying …..
The professional fishermen in the boat with Jesus that afternoon on the Sea of Galilee had seen a lot of bad weather in their day. They felt comfortable on the water, pretty sure of themselves, based on a lot of past experience. But there was something about this “great storm” that blew in; this mega, overpowering storm, that sent them rushing to Jesus, imploring, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.”
Their terror, as well as Jesus’ response to their desperation, should send us rushing to understand and apply what we’re seeing here ….
Jesus orders the circumstances of our lives so that we will come to the place; and keep coming to the place, of crying out, “Lord, save me.” He knows we will never stop needing opportunities to grow, stretch, develop, and strengthen our faith in Him; because, as I’m often reminded, there is nothing in life that has nothing to do with faith. What I mean is, it is all about faith. The issue is always: Will I trust God in this? Do I believe He will care for me? Do I believe He has my best interest at heart?
Just as the Master said to them, I plainly heard Him say to me: “Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith” as storms raged in my mind in the darkness last night ….
Jesus knew the storm was coming. He could’ve stopped it before it started. He could’ve waited for clearer sailing before encouraging His disciples to come out on the water with Him. He knew, when He lay down to sleep in perfect calm and confidence, that He was preparing them for a teachable moment ….
“O you of little faith.”
I hear Him, in questioning their faith, not rebuking them so much, but as tenderly saying to them something more like, “You don’t get it yet, do you?”
He wasn’t mad at them; He was sad that they still weren’t convinced He could take care of them. He wanted them to realize –just as He wants us to realize — the absolute security of trusting Him, in every situation and every circumstance we face …..
Your future will always hold waves, and some of those waves will ravage you, and threaten to overtake you until you embrace the fact that God allows these storms for your good. He won’t let you drown, though it may feel that way to you. But He wants YOU to want Him to save you ….. He wants the storm to remind you to trust Him. This very same Jesus; that healed the sick, raised the dead, and rebukes the wind and sea that even they would obey Him; He IS alive and still performing miracles. He is waiting to bring that very same “great calm” to your storms. He loves you and is calling you to trust Him right now, today …..
In conclusion; thinking about your own storms, how did your heart change through your last storm? Are you in a season of storm or calm right now? Are you mindful of the fact that if you are intentional about fixing your eyes on Jesus, regardless of the weather or “great tempest” raging around you, He can bring the necessary calm that is needed and you can feel safe and rest?
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-29)
Let us pray ~
Lord, I understand that storms are a sign of Your faithfulness to me. They keep me crying out to You, they prove to me Your power, and they teach me Your loving kindness. Though I wince at the struggle; I know that You are doing what’s best for me, and I love You for that. Forgive the arrogance I sometimes reveal when life is calm and going well, and I think I figured out all I need to know, and forgive me the days that I proudly think I am alright and don’t need to pray today. My Lord, I am full of need; and always ever in need of You, yet by Your mercy and grace, all I will ever need is found in You. Grow in me the faith to live in the light of this confidence everyday whether the sea is calm and serene, or stormy and raging. I trust You Lord, and I will seek You daily to find my rest, my peace, and my calm found in You alone. In Jesus’ name I ask and pray, Amen …..
God is with us ….