I was reading Luke 8 the other day where Jesus slept on the boat with the disciples and a storm came up. Remember that story? The disciples panicked and woke Him up so He’d do something…
But He was already in the boat. Interesting that because they can only act when they’re awake, they assumed the same was true of Jesus.
Here’s what struck me: their little boat ride started out peacefully. Calm weather. I’m imagining blue skies and the accompanying calm seas. Jesus falls asleep. I’m sure the disciples thought this was perfectly normal. And they felt safe. No storm. Jesus is on board. All is well. But after Jesus fell asleep, the devil took the opportunity to bring fear through a rebellious act—the storm. How do we know it’s a rebellious act? Because Jesus rebuked it. But, I’m getting ahead of myself.
Question for you: Did the fact that Jesus was asleep mean He was any less in the boat with them?
Jesus, as fully human, required rest; but God never sleeps. So, as God, He was there the entire time, with all of His power at His disposal to help at a moment’s notice.
Jesus was in the boat.
It’s normal to panic. Believers panic. Jesus indwells every believer, and yet, each believer has felt alone, abandoned. Every believer has felt afraid. But, if you’re a believer, please remember this: Jesus is in the boat with you. Always. And though He may at times appear to be asleep, all of His power is ready and available should He choose to use it.
Another question for you: were the disciples so worked up, so panicky, that Jesus Himself couldn’t reason with them until he calmed the inner and outer storms? Do we get so worked up sometimes that we can’t hear Him either? (Yeah, gets you right in the heart doesn’t it? Me too.)
Now for the other side, why did Jesus choose to calm the storm that day?
So He could reason with them? (Have faith, people!)
So He would be glorified? (They did respond with worship.)
To build their faith? (It worked.)
Or was there validity in their request that Jesus calm the storm? Notice, He doesn’t rebuke their request (though He does address their lack of faith); He rebukes the storm… And does He do that because the storm played on their fears? Because the storm was an act of the enemy?
In rebuking the disciples for their lack of trust (see Luke 8 in the Message Bible), He’s demonstrating that He longs for trust. He was still God, whether wide awake or sleeping (in His humanness). He hadn’t left them. The way they were carrying on, you’d have thought He’d left them. Not so.
We’ve been weathering storm lately. No fun. And there have been times when I’ve wondered if Jesus was “asleep” (in the sense of His “silence”). But as I read Luke 8 that day I knew one thing: God is with us in this boat.
What would the scene have looked like if these seasoned fishermen (some of them) had gotten excited and dove into the adventure, laughing at the wind, wet faces smiling? That’s what trust looks like—living the adventure with the King.
Don’t think for a moment He doesn’t know your situation.
He’s right there with you, believer; He’s intimately aware of your plight. He knows and what’s more, He cares. All we need to know is: Jesus is in our boat. You’re not going down. Trust Him to work things out. As God, He is working even when we think of Him as “sleeping.”
Behold, He who keeps Israel
Shall neither slumber nor sleep.
(Psalm 121:4 NKJV)