I love that Jesus always taught His disciples right where they
were. No synagogue lessons but real life encounters that opened the opportunity
to learn.The things He taught in their
fishing boat were foundational in many ways. A basic understanding of who was
in control came out of a couple of stormy nights.
On one particular night, after a long day of teaching, Jesus
curled up and fell asleep in the stern of the fishing boat. A storm rolled in and
the boat was tossed about along with the disciples. Still, Jesus slept. The
disciples were in a panic. We can just imagine the scene as they tried to
control their boat. They finally woke Him with accusations of neglect.
Mark 4:38b “Teacher, do you not
care that we are perishing?”
With a word He quieted the sea.
Verse 39 reads, “And He
awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind
cease and there was a great calm.”
His disappointment was apparent.
Verse 40 continues, “And He
said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?”
The problem that day was not the storm or even the fact that Jesus
was comfortably asleep on deck. The problem was that the disciples did not
remember who they were with. They failed to understand that regardless of how
it felt, Jesus was aware and in charge. His humanity was resting but His
authority was wide awake. The problem was not the situation. The problem was
lack of faith.
A situation becomes a problem when we dig in and look for ways to
manage alone. It can become unbearable depending on our own power. This
reaction shines a spotlight on just how weak our faith is.
The truth is it’s hard to try to handle this life on our own. The
big and scary things are real. Fear gets hold of our heart and panic dances
free in our mind. Like the apostles in the boat we fret and fuss and freak out.
We pray and struggle but sometimes God just doesn’t act quickly enough.
When we are knee deep in turmoil yet ignore His commanding
presence, our lack of faith breaks His heart. When our gaze is horizontal and
not vertical, our lack of trust breaks His heart.
I see my fear as weakness. God see’s my weakness as strength.
I see my weakness as an inability to cope. He sees my inability to
cope as a refusal to trust.
2 Corinthians 12: 10 reads, “I
am content with weakness, insults, hardships, persecutions and calamities. For
when I am weak, I am strong.”
Paul may have been weak in the situation but he was strong in his
faith. He looked past what he saw and trusted who he knew. The question is can
we look past what we see and focus on who we know?
Sometimes we need to get out of our chair, walk around to the
other side of the mountain and sit back down. We need a change in perspective.
Most times God perspective comes into view and a glimpse of His bigger picture
can be seen.
When I was young and afraid of the monster under my bed and my dad
wrapped his arms around me and held me tight and promised that it would be
okay. I was calmed not because the monster went away but because my dad was
with me. And I trusted my dad. And I could fall asleep.
Here’s the thing. At some point we have to take the risk. At some
point we have to be willing to let go of the control we think we have and grab
hold of His robe. We can remain calm in the storm, any storm, as long as our
faith is in the One who has it under control.
And when the storm last longer or pounds down harder than ever
before, the Truth is present. The One who walked on the sea and commanded the
whipping wind and the cutting rain is right there. He won’t leave.He never has.
When the apostle Peter saw Jesus walking on the water, he asked to
walk out there too. But once on the water he panicked.
Matthew 14:30-31 But when he
saw the wind he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, Lord, save me.
Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him saying, “O you of
little faith, why did you doubt?”
When Peter took his eyes off of Jesus and looked around, he began
to sink. But Jesus held out His hand and rescued Peter from threat of the deep.
It’s time to get serious. He is holding out His hand right now. Go
ahead. Grab a handful of faith and toss it into your backpack. Pull out the map
of evidence He has given you in His Word. Choose to trust only in the promises
found in the Bible.Now reach out and
take hold of the hand of Him who is really in control. He moves in the lives of
those who are searching and eager to know Him better. So get ready for a great