“On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat so that the boat was already filling. But he 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?” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” Mark 4:35-41 (ESV)
When I read this scripture there are two thoughts that come to my mind here. The first one would be the “religious” thought that says, “How could they not feel safe with Jesus in the boat?” This thought really sounds like I used to think.
The second thought would come from a transparent and honest place within me. I would be annoyed that Jesus was sleeping. There is danger all around us and he is sleeping. I would be asking myself if He even cared that I was in danger.
I want to talk about where these thoughts come from. The first thought is easy to think and those words are easy to say. We look at this scripture and see these are disciples who are walking with Jesus. We begin to go to a place of thought that says they must not be very faithful followers if they don’t trust Jesus to take care of them in the storm. “Where is their faith?” Surely, we would have more faith if that was us.
Does this thought process sound familiar to anyone? I confess I used to think this way all the time.
Over the last couple of years, I have had to take an honest look at my heart and these thoughts and feelings came to the surface as several hard things came our way. I realized I had tried to live my faith the way I had been taught I should. I needed to just trust Jesus and not worry about the storm because it would blow over. This way of thinking does not lead to freedom and it does not calm the storm within.
Some of these storms are still going on in my life and some won’t go away due to the nature of them.
There have been moments I have felt like Jesus is sleeping in the boat and He really doesn’t care about where I am. I have felt angry and frustrated with watching prayers I have prayed over those I love, be answered in ways that break my heart.
This is real, honest, and raw. Religion doesn’t invite you to share these thoughts and feelings. Religion tells you to suppress them and to hide them because if anyone knew you felt those things, they would know you don’t have any real faith.
That is faith.
Are there storms going on in you, or around you right now? Are you scared, hurt, frustrated, or angry? Are you wondering why Jesus is sleeping?
Bring those thoughts and feeling to Him. Allow His presence and peace to engulf you, and comfort you as you walk with Him in relationship through this storm.
Be real, raw, and honest with Him, that is how our faith grows deeper, our love for Him begins to overflow, and our trust in Him expands.
Heavenly Father, I am thankful for your disciples and for Your word. Thank You for loving us so intimately. Thank you that our faith can grow deep and wide as we invite You into every place within us. I pray that we will be real, raw, and honest with you, ourselves, and those around us. Thank You that as we do that, Your presence engulfs us and Your peace fills us. In Jesus Name, Amen!