Imagine yourself on a boat. A small lovely boat that will take you across a small sea. Upon its deep blue waters you will sail to the other side of the shore. There, you’re not sure what adventure awaits but, here, in the open waters you are at home. You’ve spent most of your life on these waters, putting nets in, pulling fish out, now as you cross you do not cross in hopes for food but for something greater.
At first the journey is peaceful, like every other you have taken. Clouds over head are large and white, yet something eerie looms in the air. Something is coming. You’re not sure what, but it is coming and soon.
With perked ears you walk about the small ship and notice your companions have the same looks upon their faces. They feel it too. Within minutes the wind picks up, the white clouds have now turned dark and streak towards the sun. The smooth waters turn rough and violent. Each one of you begins to shout to the others but none can hear over the howling of the storm. Waves crash upon deck. Lightening streaks across the blackened sky while thunder seems to rumble the waves into an undulating nightmare. Water crashes all around you, knocking your legs out beneath you. Desperately you crawl towards the stairwell that leads to the deck below.
Throwing yourself down the stairs you find a crewmate asleep on a cushion as though the waves were simply a mother rocking her child.
“Do you not care that we are dying up there?” You yell. The man turns over, climbs the steps to the upper deck, rebukes the wind and calm returns.
What are you thinking, right now, about that man?
No doubt, the apostles had a few thoughts when this all happened to them on the Sea of Galilee. Here these men were, most of them extremely well weathered fisherman who had seen their share of storms at sea, fearing for their lives. That alone should tell us that this is not just some little sprinkle, this is a fierce storm. Notice, they didn’t go straight to Jesus, instead they fought for as long as they could by themselves before going to wake him.
Isn’t that odd to you?
If it were me I think the first thing I would do is make sure that everyone was awake and helping. I don’t think I would let anyone be below deck let alone sleeping.
Instead, the apostles take on the storm themselves. Only when death seems to be approaching did they invoke Jesus to come to their aide.
How often is Jesus our lifejacket? Our last resort? Our last minute 911 call?
Don’t get me wrong, He loves coming to our aide. Yet, like with the apostles I can’t help but wonder if He does not look at us with a compassionate but disappointed grin, “Did you not believe?”
How heartbreaking that must have been?! Here is the man you’ve given everything up for and yet in your time of need you did not trust in Him. All you had to do was ask! You could have saved yourself and others so much grief if you had just said, “Um, Jesus, I know you are there…HELP ME!”
Reflection: Not all storms are visible. Fear, confusion, doubt, anger, frustration, disbelief…when their powers billow up inside of a person they create a raging storm within our souls. Yet, how often do we try to sail these rough waters on our own? We are constantly told to ‘tough it out’ and to ‘get through it’ which at times, yes, we need to, but what if we are missing the real point of the storm? What if that storm has been sent as a conversation starter? A trust exercise? A chance for us to look inside and wake up our souls to Jesus. Then with sure hands and faith we ask him, “If it is your will, rebuke this storm. If it is not, then please, stay with me.” After that, it is up to us to trust that He will not leave our side.
Challenge: Take time this week to ‘wake up to Jesus’. Is He asleep on your ship? You know, in your life but feeling distant? Go to Him, ask Him to be with you during each day and each conflict you face.