It’s Going to Be Alright

Matthew 8:24-26 “Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him saying, ‘Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!’ He replied, ‘You of little faith, why are you so afraid?’ Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.”

Are you a deep sleeper? When I was a little boy, I remember waking up in the basement on a couple of occasions. There were tornadoes, and my parents picked me up and carried me down the stairs. The sirens were blaring, but I hadn’t heard them. When I was a young father, there were times I woke up because of some movement in my bed. Robin was getting back in after tending to one of our children who was hungry or needed a diaper change. My children were bawling, but I hadn’t heard a thing.

I don’t think even I could sleep through such a storm at sea that the boat is about to sink. Jesus had to be wet, as well as thoroughly rocked back and forth. The disciples themselves are surprised at him, maybe also irritated. Mark tells us in his gospel that they asked, “Don’t you care if we drown?” It’s a little unbelievable to them that he could let the situation get this bad and still do nothing to help.

I don’t want to be too critical of these men. I don’t think we would have been any less panicked, or irritated, by Jesus’ inaction. Looking in hindsight from our position outside of the storm, however, we can see they had some clear indicators everything was going to be alright.

First was Jesus’ own reaction. If Jesus is sleeping through this, and he is the Messiah who has not yet completed his mission, doesn’t that say something about how the story is going to turn out? Would they have felt better if he was as panicked as they were, running around trying to secure the mast, bail the water, or row against the wind? If he felt such peace that he was sleeping, couldn’t they take a cue from him?

Then there was his presence. He was their ace in the hole when they needed help. They had seen him cure diseases, control demons, transform water into wine. Admittedly controlling the weather may have seemed bigger, but where did they think his power ended? Why hadn’t they gone to him sooner instead of waiting until the last moment before the boat sank? Maybe they needed things to get so desperate to teach them where to turn for help. Then they learned that just because his help was delayed, that did not mean that they were going to die.

Is it hard to see an application? What’s the storm you’ve got going that seems to find Jesus sleeping in the back of the boat? Have you prayed? What’s the prayer that doesn’t seem to be getting answered? Jesus may seem to be sleeping while we suffer through chronic health issues, family drama, joblessness, loneliness, even temptation. Do you trust him? If he isn’t doing anything yet, that’s an indication the situation is not as desperate as we think. When it needs to be resolved, or if it needs to be resolved, it will. Trust Jesus. Just because he seems to be sleeping doesn’t mean you are going to die.

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