One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s go over to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and set out. 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 8:22-25 (NIV)
I will never forget my sister’s death and the immediate aftermath. I know I talk about it a lot but I have to. It was a defining moment in my life. I will never forget the emotions of that time. The gulf of sadness that opened up in the middle of my soul, the searing rage at God, the sheer agony of the tears that I shed. It felt like my heart would explode at times with all the raw emotion I experienced.
We all have those moments. Times when the world makes no sense, when it just sucks to even get out of bed. Life has beat us down, friends have let us down, those closest to us have attacked us. It seems like a never ending battle during these times; wave after wave after wave.
I love this story about Jesus. You gotta wonder what the disciples were thinking, right? They get into this boat to cross the Galilean Sea. It’s dark and they are in the middle of this ocean it seems. Then, the storm. Out of nowhere, it just smacks them. Waves, wind, water, chaos. They are freaking out! So, they run to the other side of the boat to see what Jesus has to say about this. I mean, the Son of God is on their boat. Surely God wouldn’t allow them to drown, right? But, it is officially freak out time so let’s run to Jesus.
I put myself in the disciples’ sandals here and I have to admit, I’d be having some issues with Jesus right about now. Ok, we’re gonna die in the middle of this friggin’ ocean of waves and wind and despair…and you’re asleep?!? You got jokes, right? I would probably have just like slapped Him or something. “Wake up! You’re gonna get us killed,” I’d be screaming!
Then, Jesus wakes up cranky, right? I get that cause I’m not great at getting woke up either. Of course, Jesus is cranky for a totally separate reason than I would be. Very cool, calm and collected, He simply tells the wind to cut it out and it’s done, gone, over. Then, He gets cranky with the disciples. In my version, He looks at them and says, “What is your deal? Relax guys. Don’t you know who I am? Am I not in control?”
How many times are we in the middle of the ocean of whatever we’re going through? There is no shore in sight and it’s dark. We’re in a boat with no oars and it’s raining, blowing and our boat is sinking. Waves are crashing in and we run to where we think He is, freaking out, screaming, and panicking! “Help me, I’m going to die,” we yell at Him. And He’s kicked back chillin’, asleep at the wheel it seems to us.
It’s hard not to be angry at Him at a time like that. We don’t understand. Why won’t He rescue us before the boat goes down? And whose idea was the storm anyway? I mean, He’s in the boat, right?
There are times when we simply have to be in the storm. We have to because that’s where He has us. The good news is, He is with us. He’s in the boat and we just gotta relax and let Him do His thing. It’s not easy for me either but it has to be done. There are lessons we learn in the boat on the sea of our lives. We have to be there because He takes us there to teach us what we cannot learn by languishing on a sunny shore.