Do you ever feel like you’re caught in the middle of a storm? We all have those days when something goes wrong. But some days it feels very much like everything goes wrong. It’s easy to think about giving up on those days, feeling like this storm might be what finally does us in.
Jesus was once asleep in a boat with his disciples. While they were crossing the lake a nasty storm blew up. They thought the boat was going to sink, and they were all going to die. Jesus stayed asleep. I think I’d have been pretty cross. In fact the disciples wake him up shouting ‘Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!’.
When life is crazy, I all too often leave Jesus asleep. I know he’s there, and I’m frustrated that he isn’t doing anything and seems not to have noticed what a dangerous place we’re in. But I don’t wake Him. I don’t tell Him that it’s all too much today. The disciples did a good thing. They woke Jesus up and told Him about what was happening.
Why did Jesus stay asleep? I think it’s because he likes to be in relationship with us. He’s not like some robot guardian, programmed to step in for our protection. He wants to be a friend, someone who walks beside us and with us. He can help us out of our messes like no one else can, but He likes us to ask.
So, when Jesus wakes up, he does this frankly incredible thing. He tells the wind and waves to pipe down and stop it. And they do. A key theme in the whole Bible is that God’s word is powerful. When He speaks, things happen. This story shows us that Jesus is God, that when He speaks, everything obeys.
So can Jesus still our storms today? We’re not in a boat, but can you apply this story to our lives today. I think the answer is yes. It seems to me that it happens in two ways.
Firstly, sometimes, when we remember to wake Jesus and tell Him we’re almost lost, He speaks and the wind and waves simply stop. Things we thought were not going to end well, do end well. This can take a week or two (let’s be honest, that’s OK, our stuff is usually less urgent than ‘this boat is literally sinking and we’re dead in ten if You don’t do something’).
Secondly, and still brilliantly, sometimes we find peace in the midst of all that is going on. The Bible calls this ‘peace that passes understanding’. That is peace that isn’t because everything is suddenly OK, but a deep sense that everything is going to be fine, even when the evidence isn’t there. Or sometimes that we’ll be OK, even when everything isn’t fine.
You can read about Jesus calming the storm in Matthew 8:23-27.