Awake now, he told the wind to pipe down and said to the sea, “Quiet! Settle down!”
The wind ran out of breath; the sea became smooth as glass. Jesus reprimanded the disciples: “Why are you such cowards? Don’t you have any faith at all?”
Some of the kids I work with, I have worked with for over two years. Long enough, I would think, to prove my character about certain issues, to know whether I actually mean it when I say something, whether I will actually follow through with the consequences. This is how the conversation usually plays out: I tell them to do something – clean up your area and come to group. That’s simple, right? And they hear that daily, sometimes twice a day. But invariably, there are those who won’t do what I said. I believe they question did I really mean what I said. Not that they come up and say, “did you really mean that”. No, they are much more subtle than that. They just pretend they didn’t know I said anything or that I meant them or that I meant now. Then they are surprised when consequences are realized. They simply failed to take me at my word to deliver the goods or the consequences that are promised.
I think that the disciples in the boat with Jesus had spent enough time around Him to know His character and whether or not He could back up His words, but when the storm came up, they freaked. The storm is raging, Jesus is in the boat and they are stressing out. I would be too, I am pretty sure. How I love this part – at His word, the wind ran out of breath (oh, that I could say words that immediately stop a child’s ranting!) and the sea became smooth as glass. Would that I could silence the storms around me with just my words.
Then came the stinging consequence of the disciple’s lack of faith. Jesus turns His words, His powerful, wind stopping, sea calming words on His beloved disciples. “Why are you such cowards? Don’t you have any faith at all?” If, in the middle of a storm, I could hear His voice, I feel certain He would be saying the same things to me, the same things I would say to the kids who fail to take me at my word. “What more can I do to prove to you that I am here for you? How many times can I say the same thing over and over and over again before you actually start to believe me?”
I am not different than the kids I work with. I should be; I am older, more mature, wiser, been around the block more, had more opportunities to see God at work in my life, but in the final analysis, I am, in moments, no more a believer than they. When the storms come, all I know about Jesus seems to fly out into the wind to be caught up in the storm and carried away. When the calm comes and I see Jesus in my life again, I am ashamed of my lack of faith. And I purpose to do better next time.
Storms happen, unsettling doctor’s reports happen, relationships fall apart, cutbacks happen at work, symptoms screaming louder than that still small voice of Jesus. Storms are only tolerable when we are safely, securely tucked away in an impenetrable fortress. Otherwise, storms can make cowards of us all. But for Jesus.
When the winds are howling and the waves are threatening the safety of your boat, look to Jesus. One word from Him can calm any storm. Are you facing a storm right now? I would love to hear from you and be praying for you.
Father, thank You for Jesus. Thank You for showing us through Your word that we are not alone, even in the fiercest of storms. There is no storm, no doctor’s report, no pandemic, no threat made against that one word from You can’t silence. Forgive me for the times I have demonstrated a lack of faith in Your goodness and loving care for me. In Jesus’s name, amen.
pic credit: goodsalt.com