Sleeping in the Storm
Message No. 0638 | Twitter @GodandUs | www.wisdom-speaks.ca
I recently watched on TV, with horror, a lady pushing her baby in a stroller, across a pedestrian crossing, and a vehicle whose driver paid no attention to the road run through the red light and smash the stroller out of the lady’s hands. Everyone around the incident, including those of us who watched on television, held our breathes, waiting to know the fate of the baby. Amazingly, the baby, who could have been sleeping, oblivious of whatever was happening in his or her surroundings, survived.
In Mark chapter 4, Jesus had been busy teaching the crowd, especially His disciples, rolling out four parables in the process. Then, in the evening, He told His disciples “Let us cross over to the other side.” His disciples obeyed, as they always did, and He, tired from talking all day, went into the stern (the rear part of the boat) and fell asleep on a pillow. In verse 37, the Bible says a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat in a way that the boat was already filling with water. When the disciples tried their best, using all of their experience (they had experienced storms while fishing on the sea) but to no avail, they got scared and asked where Jesus was.
I do not think that the disciples were prepared for what they saw. Jesus was sleeping? In this storm? How could He not feel the danger and the urgency to assist to remove water from the boat to prevent sinking and drowning? In panic, they woke Him up in a rush, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” In verses 39-41, the Bible says:
Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!”
I have seen infants react under certain circumstances, including in dangerous situations, and panic is not one of my observations. In fact, I have seen infants laughing under such circumstances, thinking that they were meant to excite and make them laugh. I was on a flight some years ago, and when the aircraft experienced some fairly serious turbulence, the lady sitting beside me held my hand so firmly that she forgot that I was a stranger. When the turbulence subsided a bit, she apologized for her action and said she hated that part of flying. She was afraid of death. In contrast, there could be babies on that flight who were busy sleeping and enjoying the flight.
In Luke 17:33, the Bible says:
Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.
The baby in the stroller could not care less about the environment around him or her when being pushed across the road; safety was the business of the parent. If you asked the baby why he or she was not afraid of vehicles and careless drivers when crossing the road, you would probably receive a smile from the baby, because he or she has no idea what you were talking about. You see, this is the kind of faith that God expects us to have in him, because how could we expect the God of all the earth to not know or see what’s going on around us and to know when we are in danger and be ready to deliver us.
Decades ago, I heard the story of a great man of God who was sleeping at home and suddenly woke up to some troubling noise in the living room. He, thinking there was an invasion, stood up and opened the living room door and noticed it was Satan. Then he simply said, “So it’s you,” and closed his door and went back to sleep. We must trust God to the level that we are not perturbed even if the devil himself is around us. We must be so sure of the salvation of our Master to the extent that we simply ignore the dangers that we cannot handle on our own.
As a young boy I grew up in the village and sleep was so sweet and so deep each time it rained and thundered at night. In fact, I prayed for such nights to occur more often. I was, of course, oblivious of any danger associated with thunders. Why do we think that Jesus was busy sleeping in the storm across the sea? It’s probably because He knew that the rocky movement of the boat would help him sleep deeply. How could anyone even think that Jesus would be afraid of a storm, or of anything at all, when He knew that His Father was in charge?
We will do ourselves a big favor if we can get to the point where we simply hand our entire lives over to our Maker to handle. In peace, He is there. In storms, He is never absent. The Bible says which or you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? In Philippians 4:6, the Bible says “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” People pass through different storms in life and the devil’s joy is in making you run from pillar to post and staying awake and afraid each night, and getting lost in thoughts each day and making mistakes in the process, leading to more dangers, and on and on. We need to deny the devil this joy by standing firm on the promises of our God. The best gift we can give to ourselves is to hand over our shift (to God) and go to sleep when we are overwhelmed and do not have answers to our troubles. May the God who never fails grant you the rest that you deserve in Jesus’ name. Amen. Have a blessed week!
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