He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” (Mark 4:40, ESV)
Where is the Lord in the middle of our storms?
Is He sleeping?
No, He is not. He is with us. He promised to never leave us nor forsake us.
But, storms do come. Jesus knew all about them . . . and he spent a lot of time in boats. I love this. Time and time again, He would encourage his disciples to get into a boat. It was a common mode of transportation for them, for sure. But we know of a few times when they got caught in storms while out to sea. I wonder if they had any trepidation to get back in after some of the rough waters they experienced. Jesus, however, was never surprised by the waves . . . he knew what he was sending his best friends into.
One version says that Jesus ‘made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side’ (Matthew 14:22). Meanwhile, he went up on a mountain to be by himself. A storm arose and the ship was being beaten by the waves. Deciding to catch up with his friends, Jesus walked to them—on the water—in a storm. Seeing him, they were afraid, but He said, ‘Take heart; it is I. Do not be Afraid' (Matthew 14:27).
As He entered the boat, the wind ceased. Just like that.
In another storm spoken of in the book of Mark, they awoke Jesus from a nap, asking him if he didn’t care that they were perishing. He rose, told the wind to ‘hush’...and it did.
So, why then did He allow his friends to experience the terrors of the sea? Why does He allow the storms of our lives to buffet us? To knock us sideways and sometimes right off our feet? Clearly He can stop the storms. Why doesn’t He? Where is He? Asleep again?
No, just like he rescued his disciples out in the boats several times, he too is alongside you, watching over you as you grow through life’s trials. He is there to catch you when you feel yourself falling, like a good Father who protects a toddler. But He wants our faith to mature. He wants us to learn to drop to our knees, humble ourselves and know that only He can calm the storms in our lives. The disciples, after both of these frightening events, had a new vision of who He was. Struggling through their challenges brought fresh revelation.
So don’t despair. He is there. And here. We just need to wake ourselves up from our groggy spiritual slumber and see Him for who He is and trust He is watching over the waves in our lives.