Here I am doing what some of you would expect sentimental me to be doing while in the middle of the Sea of Galilee. I didn't know Loretta was close by with her camera, anxiously awaiting my reaction to the waves, but I couldn't help but stare. As we sailed out into the middle, we turned off the praise music and shut down the engines. Complete silence. Absolute calm. Perfect safety.
Two thousand years ago, there was a boat on this very water. One minute, peace. The next, panic. At some point, the disciples may have been singing, telling jokes, or playing their favorite Galilean board game. But the fun didn't last. The clouds rolled in, the winds rushed and the waves rose. This was it. This is how it all ends, they may have thought. Meanwhile, Jesus slept.
Jesus got into a boat, and his followers went with him. A great storm arose on the lake so that the waves covered the boat...Jesus was sleeping” (Mt. 8:23-24 NCV)
There's a thought. They followed Jesus into a storm. Quite the lesson for us, amen? Following Jesus doesn't mean smooth sailing, but often the opposite, right?
And like I've written before, the disciples knew what to do. Isn't it true? They knew what to do, and they were the first to do it. Do what exactly? Well, they did literally what you and I do metaphorically. They called for Him in the storm. We know the story. First came the wind, then the waves. And with teeth chattering and knees knocking, the terrified bunch woke the only one who could put the sea to sleep.
My week in Israel was such a good reminder for me that it's not that the storm wasn't threatening, or that the disciples were silly for being scared. No, the storm was real. But Jesus took their fears seriously. Of all the things we can learn from this story as I stare into this once-troubled sea is that Jesus didn't hush the storm to prove its insignificance. No, He hushed it to prove their significance to Him.
Your storms are real. My fears are real. But when your teeth chatter and my knees buckle, we can follow their lead, amen? They knew what to do. We can too. In many ways, we're in the same boat as Loretta awaits my reaction to the waves. Brings a lump to my throat to think He's patiently waiting for me to wake Him up.
For Discussion: Following Jesus. Trusting Jesus. Waking Jesus. The cycle of life. The cycle of my life; me of little faith. Perhaps like you guys, this is me, "I need You, Lord. I'm so scared sometimes. My Shelter. My constant Friend. Let me curl up next to You and even if You don't calm the storm, by You, I'll be.