Some seasons in life are like a never-ending storm. You’ve long since cried uncle but the waves keep coming. You’ve tried bailing out the flood waters but it comes at you faster than you can handle. As the reality hits you that you’re fighting an unbeatable battle, you feel all hope is lost.
Not unlike the storm the disciples encountered on the boat with Jesus when He nonchalantly told them to cross over to the other side of the lake.
Since the story tells us the storm came up suddenly, they likely embarked in pleasant conditions. But that quickly changed.
They certainly tried by their own means to battle against the effects of the waves and wind. I can imagine it was an “all hands on deck” time. But, their efforts were to no avail.
That’s when they looked for Jesus.
Was He standing beside them bailing out water too? Speaking words of encouragement? Miraculously transporting the ship across the water?
No. He was asleep. Sound asleep.
Really? I’ve heard of deep sleepers before, but that one surely takes the cake. I’ve been in a storm very much like this one and believe me, I wasn’t sleeping. I was desperately holding on and praying for my dear life!
But Jesus slept. Did He sleep because He was tired? Did He want to teach the disciples a lesson? Or did He sleep because he wanted to exemplify what an unfearful heart looks like?
Maybe all of the above.
What would it take to have the kind of peace to sleep in such conditions? Or is this something only Jesus could do cause He’s God?
My life feels a lot like that storm.
It started peaceful, but a nor’easter came out of nowhere and is threatening to utterly destroy me. I’ve held on. I’ve uselessly tried bailing out the never ending waves of water. I’ve even cried uncle but it’s done no good. Oh yeah, and Jesus is asleep.
Please wake up. Calm the storm. I know my faith is small. But my prayers don’t change the situation.
So I prepare myself for the inevitable drowning. I curl up in a fetal position in the bottom of the ship and wait for the storm to have its way. Throw me over. Swallow me whole.
And then I spot Him. From my small vantage point on the floor, I look up at peaceful Jesus asleep on a cushion. And I realize a few things.
First, if He said to go to the other side, I will make it there. Maybe a little wearier but I will get there.
Second, the reason He is at peace is because He is the God who can both stir up and calm the sea. Why should these simple elements cause Him fear? That means, if He is in the storm with me, why should I fear that which He is well aware of and has utter control over?
Third, maybe my efforts to help my situation won’t do any good but neither will curling up and quitting. It is only as I climb out of the bottom of the boat and up into His arms that I too can find rest.
When I sit with Him, the storm still rages and I still get wet. And I still hang on, but now I hold to something surer. Someone who will bring me safely to the other side.
After all, if I have to go through the storm, I’d rather sit with Him in peace than all alone in fear.
How are you battling the storms in your life? Bailing, Giving Up or Resting?