“As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger. The disciples went and woke him, saying, ‘Master, Master, we’re going to drown!’ He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. ‘Where is your faith?’ he asked his disciples. In fear and amazement they asked one another, ‘Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.’”
– Luke 8:23-25
Yesterday, we learned about Jesus being relaxed, and we looked at a couple of examples from His life on earth. Today, I want to expound further on what may be the most famous story about His calm and serene presence, even in the midst of trouble: falling asleep in the storm.
Most of you are familiar with the account of Jesus boarding a boat with His disciples, only to go to the back of the ship and take a nap. After He fell asleep, a storm suddenly arose and His friends woke Him up in a panic, certain they were going to die. Rather than freaking out with them, the Lord calmed the tempest and rebuked His peeps for their lack of faith.
While there are many lessons to be learned from this story, I think one of the most poignant is that which was depicted by the famous dutch artist Rembrandt in his work “The Storm on the Sea of Galilee” in 1633 (if you haven’t seen it, try Googling it). Unfortunately, the original painting was stolen from Boston in 1990, but Hannah and I have a print of it hanging on our kitchen wall. Every morning as I sip my coffee, I stare at the scene and try to imagine who is who and doing what. In the painting, there are several people working hard to try and save the ship, and there’s another, who some say is Peter, but who I actually believe is Judas Iscariot. Unaware of the rope around his own neck, this man perceives that he’s at the orb of the vessel and in control. The same is true with some of the others; they are pictured trying to save the ship by their own effort. Therefore, my interpretation of the painting is that in a storm, there are two kinds of people: those who try to control their outcomes by taking charge and powering through (which is Satan’s way) and those who look to Jesus and remain calm. Instead of trusting in their own strength, they trust in His ability, and they weather through safely.
Friend, whenever you’re going through a storm, your salvation is in one place and that’s with Jesus! Before trying to save yourself, run to the Lord, wake Him up, and trust in His strength. You will attain serenity as a disciple not by believing in the illusion of control, trying to fix everything, throwing up your hands, or getting angry, but by giving it all to God. At the end of the day, it’s better to be on a boat with Jesus in a storm than on the shore by yourself, because with Him in bad weather is better than without Him under sunny skies!
I am thankful, Jesus, that I can be with you in the storm. I believe that being relaxed in your presence far exceeds the pain and effort of trying to fix things myself.
When did you last face a storm in your life? Was Jesus in your boat? If so, did you allow Him to work on your behalf or did you try to fix things yourself?