My pastor preached two Sundays ago on the story in Matthew 8:23-27 where Jesus calms the storm (emphasis mine).
23 Then Jesus got into the boat and started across the lake with his disciples. 24 Suddenly, a fierce storm struck the lake, with waves breaking into the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”
26Jesus responded, “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” Then he got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly there was a great calm.
27 The disciples were amazed. “Who is this man?” they asked. “Even the winds and waves obey him!”
My pastor made some great points about this story that we can apply to our lives today:
When you are in the middle of a storm:
- ask God!
- question your fears instead of your faith!
- remember that Jesus is in the boat with you!
Those are such powerful truths from God’s word and I’ve been thinking about them a lot. (by the way… I am so, so thankful for our church, where the Bible is taught and the lessons are relevant – every week!!)
But that wasn’t all God wanted to speak to me about that story.
I thought it was interesting how the disciples asked. They said “we are going to die!”. It struck me as kind of bold and presumptuous that they would dare proclaim the outcome of the situation to the God of the Universe – the One who controls everything. A little backwards, isn’t it?
And I think that is why Jesus said they have “little faith”. They were in His hands, but they didn’t have faith that He controlled the outcome. And what’s more, they didn’t have faith that He knew and wanted what was best for them.
This story is also told in the gospels of Mark (chapter 4) and Luke (chapter 8)- and in Mark the disciples words that are recorded reveal a bit more:
They say in Mark 4:38, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?”
And what is even more remarkable in Mark’s retelling of the story is that before they even got into the boat, Jesus had told them the outcome. In Mark 4:35, Jesus said, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.”
Not only were the disciples were worried about the outcome, but they also worried that Jesus didn’t care about them. And that’s understandable – when things are going wrong, don’t we jump to the conclusion that He doesn’t care? In our earthly logic, when the outcome doesn’t look good, then God must not care. But, oh, to have Jesus’ perspective!
Why don’t we believe when God speaks?
Why don’t we trust?
Why do we focus on the storm instead of the One who can calm it?
Why don’t we believe that He cares for us and desires good for us?
I do this so often in my own life! How many times have I proclaimed the outcome of certain situations in my life – I blogged a little bit about my tendency to believe the worst outcome here. And when I insist on doing this, I proclaim my monumental lack of faith and lack of trust!
The truth is this:
God is in control.
He knows the outcome of each and every circumstance in our life.
He uses all things for the good of those who love Him – even those things that don’t make any sense in our own way of thinking!
He is good and He cares.
He is trustworthy.
I’m praying that He will help me remember!