One day he got into a boat with his disciples, and he said to them, ‘Let us go across to the other side of the lake.’ So they put out, and while they were sailing he fell asleep. A gale swept down on the lake, and the boat was filling with water, and they were in danger. They went to him and woke him up, shouting, ‘Master, Master, we are perishing!’ And he woke up and rebuked the wind and the raging waves; they ceased, and there was a calm. He said to them, ‘Where is your faith?’ They were afraid and amazed, and said to one another, ‘Who then is this, that he commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him?’
This is the trouble with God. He calls us to a mission, however small or large it might be. We respond in the best way we know how, and then – what does God do? He falls asleep and leaves us struggling. Or at least that’s often how it feels to me anyway. I assume that once I respond to a call, then God is honour-bound to make it plain sailing all the way.
But life – and God – aren’t like that. Once we’ve experienced the initial joy of responding to God, then often those joyful feelings quickly disappear and we are left uncertain, confused, bored perhaps, or sometimes terrified, as in this passage. There the disciples are in the middle of an awful storm they hadn’t anticipated and what does Jesus do? Nothing. He’s asleep and seems to have no idea they are about to drown in the lake. In fact, He’s so deeply asleep that they have to shout at him to wake him up at all.
However, their desperation and terror have led them to Jesus and once He’s awake, the storm is calmed and their fears are stilled. His power over the wild forces of nature stuns them, but Jesus points out their lack of faith. In my own life, Jesus has quietened many storms and provided help when I needed it most but still I forget and the next time I’m in a crisis, the terror returns and I forget who’s in the boat with me! May we all have a greater confidence in the God Who travels with us.
Dear God, help us to remember that You are always with us, no matter how silent You might seem. Thank you for the power You have in offering us peace even in the most unsettled circumstances. Amen.