And He got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Hush, be still.” And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm. And He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
Mark 4: 39-40
I find this story about the disciples and Jesus in the boat to be very interesting. Jesus was there in the boat, asleep, when a fierce storm “arose”. The Bible says that waves were breaking over the boat, so much so that the boat was filling up with water.
Still, the Savior slept.
The waves did not wake Him, but the cries of his disciples did. He stood up and calmed the waters right away, chastising the disciples for not putting their faith in Him. I'm sure Christ's reaction to the whole ordeal confused the disciples. They even told Him so as they tried to wake Him - “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?”. They perceived His calm in the storm as uncaring and apathetic, when nothing could be further from the truth.
Jesus had planned this trip just for them.
He had been preaching all day and when evening came, He told the disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” There was no Weather Channel back then and no Jim Cantore to tell the disciples that the storm of the century was heading their direction so that they could take appropriate actions to secure the boat.
The Omniscient, Omnipotent, Omnipresent Creator of the wind, seas, and rain was right there in the boat with them.
Do you think that He went to sleep thinking all was well and that weather conditions would remain calm for the night? Of course not! He knew full well that the storm was coming. Though He seemed to be asleep in the back of the boat, He was steering the boat right into the squall.
Still, the disciples panicked. They cried out to Him as if He didn't know about the storm, or worse, that He knew about it and slept anyway.
As an outside observer, I want to shout at the disciples, “Don't you know that Jesus planned this all along? Don't you know that though the storm blows, you can have peace because your Master is right there with you?”
But, I find that the more I shout at them, the more I see myself in them.
I, too, panic when the waters get rough. Like them, I cry out in anger and with hurt feelings when I don't feel that God is doing anything to calm the craziness around me. The wind and rain cloud my view so much so that I can't see that this downpour has been created specifically for me.
That God is rocking the boat so that I'll take a leap of faith.
That He has led me into these crashing waves, forcing me out of my comfort zone.
That He has stirred up the seas of my circumstances so that I can't help but jump into His Arms.
And when I do, I'll be able to see that He was calm because this deluge didn't surprise Him. He wasn't sleeping on the job; He was simply waiting for me to trust Him.
God has rocked my boat more times than I can count. When I've thought I was sailing into smooth waters because I was doing all I thought I was “supposed” to do for Him, He has taken the helm and steered my life right into waves that have ripped apart my idea of living for Him. And, I've come out better for these storms, as long as I have weathered them with Christ at the stern.
God doesn't create the chaos just to toss us overboard and see if we'll sink or swim.
His objective is to see if we will call out to Him. To show us where our faith lies. To make us choose between the strong, smooth wood of the boat we call “security” or the MIGHTY ROCK on which we stand.
He will never force us to go one way or the other, but He will sure rock the boat until we learn to rely fully on Him.