Jesus Calms a Storm
35 On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” 36 And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. 37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. 38 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?” 39 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. 40 He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” 41 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?”
Depending upon your background, you may have read the passage above many times. It has been the subject of many sermons. Yet, if you are like me, even if that is your background you still struggle to understand.
This past year has been a challenge, and it looks as if it is still going to be a challenge for a little while longer.
As the pandemic still rages on and presents new challenges we find ourselves much like the disciples crying out “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”! For so often our circumstances cause us to doubt the truth we have already seen. By this point in the disciples’ lives with Jesus, they have seen him heal the sick and make the lame walk again. Yet, all of that seems to have gone out the window when this storm hit. It is also worth noting that this must have been a pretty bad storm since many of the disciples were experienced fishermen and would have been accustomed to storms at sea. So this one was so bad it made them doubt if Jesus even cares about them anymore.
Unfortunately, I can relate.
I have been in ministry now for over twenty-plus years and have seen God do amazing things, but I still struggle with feeling as if God cares about me and what’s going on.
Sometimes it is because while I have seen God work in some areas, there are many where I haven’t seen him work before. The disciples had seen Jesus physically heal, but they had never seen him have power over nature. His power was there, they just hadn’t seen it and their faith was limited to only what they had seen.
Many of us also have the tendency to only focus on “what is” and so often forget “what has been”, and many times even if we do look at “what has been” we limit it to our own experiences.
This pandemic is new for all of us, yet it is not new to God. There have been pandemics before and God has brought His church through it. There has been suffering, grief, and loss throughout our history, and God is still sovereign and in control. God’s omnipotence isn’t limited by my awareness of His actions. Just because I haven’t seen Him do it, doesn’t mean he can’t or won’t. He doesn’t always act as I expect (Jesus was asleep in the boat after all), but He is still the Good Shepherd.
Our current reality is that while this pandemic is still raging and we are exhausted, God is still sovereign and in control and fulfilling His promises to His people, even in the midst of their suffering. We have not seen Him lead us through a pandemic before, but the reality is, He has led people through them before. Our earthly eyes may only see the waves crashing around us, and it scares us, even those of us with “experience” – yet, God is still present, still with us.
God may you open our eyes to see you, may you grow our little faith, as a loving Father may you answer our doubt with your grace and truth.
What factors are causing you to doubt God currently?
What makes you question if He cares?
Looking back, How has God shown He has cared for you in the past?
As we face the storm of the unknown, what truths about God anchor you and strengthen your faith?