“Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!” – Matthew 8:23-27
How many times have we read this story? In vacation bible school we might have even colored the waves and the boat or had memory cards to recite scriptures. But only in the past few years have I started really praying and asking for the true meaning in this story.
Not something I’m good at. And frankly, in 2017 – not something any of us are good at. We go, we do, we perform, we succeed, we conquer, we march, we overcome. All actions. But if you ask somebody what they’re doing and they reply with resting – the reaction in the the others response is lack luster at most.
We don’t know how to do this. Not even on “land,” but in a storm? On the ocean? Yeah, no.
This past week, everything that could go wrong – has. I dropped my phone and the screen cracked. Two of my tires blew out. A past hurt I thought I was over, somehow was triggered by a stupid song. Financial worries met with unmet expectations has my thoughts (and honestly my prayers) sitting in more of a ‘chaotic sea’ than I realized until earlier today when walking back from the bank to Discount Tire.
Whilst walking I was processing and praying through what I needed to do next, but all the while knowing in my gut that I was going to be okay. Instantly feeling a sense of peace. And it was then gently, but firmly, it was like the Lord tapped me on the shoulder and made me stop and remember.
Remember similar times in my life when walking and talking it out with the Lord wasn’t what I ran to. When peace was miles away and my actions were anything BUT trusting and resting in the Lord. And the countless nights of tossing and turning were proof of this.
And it was then He whispered these words, “now you know why I was sleeping.“
I didn’t catch it at first, but then…after pondering a bit, I did. I understood it. I saw Him on the boat, I saw the disciples all around Him, panicking – freaking out. Them completely unaware of the power and authority that was with them in that boat. And Jesus, calm and collected, more than aware of the protection and safety that surrounded them – yet still wanting them to learn a valuable lesson even in the midst of His provision.
As it was here I was reminded of where I’m at in life. And I start listing off all the things in my head, proof of survival of past storms, if you will? Like this past weekend where I overcame one of my greatest fears. And my sister received salvation. And the fact I’m coming up on a year of being in a job I love, after years of heartache and transition. And the provision of the house I now call home with my best friend. And, and, and….I could have gone on but it was here I stopped and smiled as I breathed out a sigh of relief.
Yeah, you heard me. Relief. Because I felt it…I realized it. What He meant when He said it… that this time is different? This time…wow, I’m “asleep,” too. And not because the waves and wind arn’t still rising around me. But because I’ve finally realized, that though the storms will continue to come (1 Peter 4:12), we have the ability to truly rest and trust in the midst of it and even, come out more filled with faith on the other side.
And that my friends, is no cliche I’ll ever roll my eyes at again.
Praying that whatever storm you find yourself in tonight, you’ll 1) sleep well fully aware of the Power and Authority that is with you 2) be reminded of where He’s been faithful before 3) ask for belief in your unbelief that the God who provides will come through for you again. I’ll be praying the same thing, too friend.
all in love,