On of my favorite stories in the Bible is where Jesus is asleep in the boat and a terrible storm hits the boat. Both disciples that give us an account tell us
that it was “furious!” Jesus is asleep in the bottom of the boat. They’re convinced that they’re going to die. They wake him up and ask him, “Hey Man, aren’t you afraid we’re going to die?” He gets up, calms the storm and the sea and looks at them and asks the most astonishing question. He asks,
Can you imagine their response? What? Excuse me? Hello, we’re about to die here, Jesus! I mean we were about to be swamped. Instead the text tells us “they were terrified.” They still didn’t know who Jesus was. You can read the whole story by clicking here or here.
Now, there are two things that stick out to me in that story.
They were afraid because they thought they were going to die. Yet, Jesus looks at them with amazement and asks, “Why?” My question is “Why not?” The simple answer here is that God had a plan for them and it didn’t involve dying on that sea that night. John Wesley said, “I am immortal until God is done with me.” The apostles would get this, that’s why 12 normal men turned the world upside down. On that night though they still as of yet had not grasped the idea. But what does that have to do with our life? How do we make that truth relevant to us? In the everyday paying the bills, going to work hanging with the fam daily grind of life what does that mean? Well, I want to ask you a question: “If Jesus thought the disciples lacked faith because they were afraid for their life, what is it that you’re afraid of?” What is that is stopping you from actually doing something for God? Are you afraid to raise your hands during the music at church because you’re afraid that people might laugh at you? I bring that up, because I’ve been there—I’ve been afraid to raise my hands during music worship because I was afraid that someone would laugh. Even though the Bible is certainly talks about “raising holy hands to God.” That’s kind of a silly example though. Some of you are sitting at the brink of a real choice. You feel you’re being called by God to do something and you’re scared to do it. You’re afraid of something. I don’t know what it is. Some of us are afraid we’ll fail. Some are afraid we’ll succeed and then what will people expect?
The second thing that strikes me about this story is they end up going to Jesus. They go to Jesus for the wrong reasons, with the wrong expectations and yet He still calms the sea. I’m not all that sure God cares about how we come to Him. I think he’s more concerned that we come to Him. Too often we make prayer this complicate thing. We come up with acronyms and steps and do this and do that. How about this: “just pray!”t next? The point isn’t the fear the point is what are you doing about it?
Somebody reading this is going through some pretty rough seas right now, and you’re scared. Maybe you’re facing divorce or death, or a lot of pain, I don’t know.
But let me encourage you, put your faith in God. He has a plan and He will see it though.
Now, before you think I’m on some high horse here believe me I’m not. I am facing my own set of storms right now. I’ve failed twice as a Pastor. In fact my life has all sorts of failures in it. The thing with failure is that you start to question all sorts of things. For myself I question,
Will I be
In 9 days I’m moving, because I believe God has called me to move. I am going to a church where I believe God is moving and I want to be part of it. I am going back to school in the fall and I have no idea how I am going to pay for it. No one knows my shortcomings better than me. I wonder if I’ll have the discipline to do what it takes to finish school. In short, one of the biggest storms I’m facing right now is the UNKNOWN. Like those apostles in that boat I am struggling with seeing what is going to happen next. I
Job …..and it scares the behebeejeebies out of me. But I believe God has called me to do this so I am.
The disciples could have drowned on that boat and it would have been all right. I wonder if Jesus wasn’t more amazed that they were so afraid about what might have happened. What I mean is that if they had drowned that wouldn’t have caught God by surprise. He knew where they were at and He knew where the Storm the furious storm that encircled them. I wonder if that isn’t what Jesus meant when he said, “Do you still have no faith?”
Now, Jesus looks at them and says, “where’s your faith?” That makes me wonder if the storms don’t come so we can build/use/exercise our faith? But that’s a post for another day. For today, be encouraged, God knows exactly where you are at and He knows the exact storm(s) that are raging furiously in your life. He has a plan, He is Faithful, He will see it through to the end.
Philippians 1 vs. 6 says, ”
being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Emphasis Mine)