The older I get, the more I realize that life is full of unknowns. There’s a lot that goes on around me every day that seems scary and threatening in some way. Circumstances come and go, threatening our comfort, our health, our relationships, our jobs, our freedoms, our children, and sometimes our very lives, don’t they? They are known as the storms of life.
This month, a friend gave me a beautiful word picture that helped me through a current storm I am going through. It had to do with the picture of Jesus napping through a massive storm while his disciples were fearful for their lives. Mark 4 describes it in this way:
37 And there arose a fierce gale of wind, and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling up. 38 Jesus Himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” 39 And He got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Hush, be still.” And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm. 40 And He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” 41 They became very much afraid and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?”
Did you get that? It was a fierce storm! The boat was filling up with water! These guys were used to being on the sea and even they were scared. And where was Jesus? Asleep on a cushion. He wasn’t just resting and watching. He was totally checked out. Are you serious? How annoying would that be if you are thinking you are about to drown, and look over to see the only One who can calm the storm sleeping??? You can hear it in the disciples voices…”Tarnation, Jesus! What are you thinking?! Don’t you see?! Don’t you care?!” Of course He did.
But here’s the deal. He was sleeping because He needn’t worry about the storm. He had no reason to worry. He could trust His Father perfectly and because He could trust Him, He could rest right there in the middle of a massive storm when everyone else was frantic.
So, I recently asked this friend of mine, “I don’t need to fear, right?” Of course I know the answer, but I needed to hear the truth of what I already know. Have you ever been there? You just need to be reminded of what you already know? Somehow hearing the truth helps. This is why we need each other!
This friend said with complete certainty, “No, Kim, you don’t need to fear!” And he went on to remind me of this story. So, I got to thinking this is such a powerful word picture. Jesus was able to sleep through a storm that others freaked out about. He questioned their faith, asking, “Why are you afraid?”
The only way you wouldn’t be afraid in a situation like that is because of Who is in the boat with you. They had no assurance of living through that storm except for the fact that the Son of God was with them. This is why they went to Him and woke Him up, asking if He cared. Because they knew He of all people could do something about the storm. Martyn Lloyd Jones, author of Spiritual Depression – Its Causes and Cure, gives the disciples credit for this because though they were indeed afraid, they knew where to go with their fears.
Now, if you have spent much time in the Gospels, you know that Jesus was continually rewarding people’s faith. Again and again, he is so very pleased when we respond to Him in faith. So, I thought, “Wow, how much would it bless God’s heart if when the storms of life came, I just went and curled up next to Him on the cushion, laid my head on his chest, and took a good long nap?” Storm raging. Boat tossed. No worries. I mean, Jesus isn’t worried so I shouldn’t be either, right?
So now, as I think of this unknown situation that can cause me a bit of anxiety in and of itself, I can just remind myself to mentally go curl up next to Jesus and just rest. Why? Because He’s got this. He already knows the end from the beginning. He knows what’s going to happen. Oh, it might be uncomfortable. It might be difficult. It might not be my preference. But He is there, He knows, and He loves me more than anyone else ever could.
God Himself has both the knowledge and the power to change our circumstances if He chooses to. He is the only one who can calm the wind and the waves. Sometimes there’s nothing we can do except go to Him. So I for one am going to go curl up next to Jesus right there on the cushion and take a good long nap, just because I can. 🙂 Won’t you join me?