If He had the power to stop it (and He did), then He had the power to prevent it from starting in the first place. If He could rebuke the wind and the sea, He could have restrained the wind and the sea. But He didn’t. Instead He got in the boat, found a cushion in the stern, and went to sleep.
He slept. But I’m awake. And awake way too early this morning. Mind racing way too fast. Anxious about way too many things. I could be the one on the pillow snoozing. Instead, while there’s no storm physically raging around me, the seas are anything but calm within me.
Not beating myself up about it. These are turbulent times. But I probably need to stay away from my news feeds. Rather than communicate anything about control, or contribute in any way to confidence, they just seem to add to the chaos. I want to stay in touch, but way too easy to become overwhelmed.
So, awake too early. Good opportunity to pray if I can bring captive my thoughts. And, I get an early start on hearing God’s voice through His word. And what am I hearing in the midst of my different readings this morning?
He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?”
(Mark 4:40 ESV)
Fear and faith, there’s a connection. It’s actually an inverse relationship, isn’t it? Faltering faith gives way to greater fear. Focused faith, less fear. Notice I didn’t say much faith, less fear. But I’m thinking it’s focused faith.
Jesus was right there in the boat with them. But they chose to stare at the storm above them. They wouldn’t take their eyes off the crashing waves around them. Uh, they may not have been focused on the the right thing.
They believed Jesus could do something about their predicament, they wouldn’t have cried out to Him if they didn’t. So, their faith failure wasn’t about whether or not they thought He had the power. It was about whether or not they believed He cared.
They woke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?”
(Mark 4:38b ESV)
Does Jesus care? Oh, yes, He cares. (Hmm . . . someone should write a song about that. Hmm, they have. Click here if you have time).
But caring about the danger in the storm doesn’t necessarily mean preventing the danger in the storm. For, if He could rebuke the wind and the sea, He could have restrained the wind and the sea — but Jesus didn’t. While He may not have explicitly produced the storm, He certainly permitted the storm. And it became an opportunity to teach His disciples about fear and focused faith.
Not necessarily testing their faith as to whether or not they believed He would calm the storm, but that He could calm the storm. And whether He did or didn’t, knowing by faith that while He was in the boat with them, He cared for them, and–whether allowing the storm to rage or causing the seas to be still–He would get them to the other side.
Focused faith. Seems it’s the remedy for frantic fear.
Does Jesus care? Yes, He cares.
Whether He chooses to or not, can He calm the storm? Yes, He can.
Then, it is well with my soul. And I can do another day in the boat. Maybe even get a nap in.
By His grace. For His glory.