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 was with them. 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 for our comfort.
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 the One 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 adventure!
Content and Image 2019 © Charlene M Campanella (May not be used or reproduced in any fashion without written consent from the author)