Mark 4:35 tells a story that most church people are familiar with, but it's been a minute since I gave a Valencia Version translation, so....walk with me. Jesus has been doing...Jesus things: giving people the absolute business about what God and His kingdom are really like. Once He's done, He turns to the disciples & says "let's take a trip." They hop in a few boats....and all is well...until hell breaks loose (because that's the usual protocol when you do what Jesus tells you to do). They're in the middle of a body of water, and winds get high, water is everywhere (including in the boat), and Jesus.....is asleep.
I'm sorry...whet? Who takes a nap & sleeps through a mini hurricane WHILE WE'RE ABOUT TO DIE?!!!! I sleep through storms because I’m behind bricks & buildings, & such; Jesus had to feel something. So, the disciples go wake Jesus up & say "um...sir...do you even care if we die? Does our life have value to you at all?! DO YOU NOT FEEL THIS RAIN & WIND THAT COULD TAKE US OUT?!!!" Jesus got up, told the storm to chill, turned to the disciples & said “Now what’s wrong with you? …where's your faith?"
Now last week, we looked at the fact that trusting God required us to know Him. So following that train of thought, when Jesus asked the disciples about their lack of faith, He was essentially asking them how they could walk with Him for all of this time…and not know who He is. Faith is classically “the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen,” (Heb. 11:1); it’s about trusting what you can’t see, and believing that over what you can. That’s where the disciples, and where we, slipped up: they trusted the storm more than they trusted the Man that got them in it.
Let’s sidebar about that though: this is all Jesus’ fault. Nothing here indicates that the disciples suggested, or even thought about traveling; it had already been a day. Jesus says “let’s go”, knowing a storm was coming, and was sleep when they needed Him most. Have you been there? Have you ever been in a storm that He walked you into? Has your obedience ever led you into a stressful season? Have you ever followed Him into new territory…and looked over…to see Him snoring? I know we’re not supposed to be mad at God, but that…that’ll raise my pressure a bit, you know? Sir, I wouldn’t even be out here if it weren’t for you! Is this what obedience gets me? I think I’d rather sacrifice, because this…this isn’t cool. Meanwhile, God is like “….now you ought to know me better than that.”
It’s amazing to me how easy it is to forget HIStory; how easily we forget that we aren’t messing with someone that’s even capable of true failure. Jesus hadn’t done anything to make the disciples think that He’d let them die. They had no objective reason to believe that Jesus’ sleep was an indication of His (lack of) care towards them. Yet, they woke Him up…and questioned His heart. After He silenced the storm, He questioned them just as they questioned Him. (oooohhhh….)
I found it interesting that Jesus didn’t asked why they had ‘a little’ faith; He asked why they didn’t have any faith. They were below the classic mustard seed standard! Now at first, I was confused. I thought that waking Jesus up would be a sign of confidence in Him. FALSE. The ‘why’ matters as much as the ‘what’. They woke Jesus up because they didn’t realize that He was God enough to stop the storm…and God enough to carry them through it…in His sleep.
By the time this scenario was over, the disciples had learned more about Jesus. They knew more about who He was than they did when when they got on the boat. There was a lesson in the instability of the sea. Isn’t that why storms come anyway? Don’t the storms in our lives serve us by making us students of the power of God? I’ve learned that storms come to show us something about God that we don’t quite grasp yet. That’s one of the major lessons that I get from this scripture: the storm serves a purpose. If Jesus didn’t care, He wouldn’t have stopped the storm and challenged them to greater levels of faith. Yet, if the storm wouldn’t have come, the lesson wouldn’t have either. You may be sitting in a storm, staring at Jesus while He snores. Please know that the storm wouldn’t have come without His purpose or permission. He’s not sleep because He doesn’t care. Shoot, you should sleep too! He’s God enough to stop it, and God enough to carry you through it. Don’t wake Him up in fear; please Him with your faith. You know Him better than that….
Background Music: God Cares for You - Vashawn Mitchell
Words from the Author
At the end of the day, these posts are the thoughts that run through my mind. These are the lessons I've learned. The doors that I've walked through. The path I've chosen. This is part of what it means to be me. Hopefully, it'll help you be...you. Let's grow together, kay?
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