23 Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. 24 Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”
26 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. 27 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”
I believe when Jesus stepped into the boat that evening He knew there would be a classic storm on Lake Gennesaret, aka the Sea of Galilee. We’re told this storm came “without warning,” a pretty common occurrence for the Sea of Galilee, because of the geographic make up of the surrounding mountains and wind patterns etc.
Within this group of disciples were seasoned fishermen who have been in storms before, but this one was a particularly violent storm causing even them to fear for their lives.
We can imagine their panic. The yelling of instructions of what to do and running into each other trying to keep their boat afloat. Then someone, we don’t know who, noticed that Jesus was not panicking, unbelievably, He was actually calm enough to sleep through the pandemonium.
This is not to suggest that during a physical storm or a metaphorical storm Jesus is “asleep at the wheel.” That wouldn’t line up too well with Carrie Underwood’s song “Jesus, Take The Wheel!” Jesus sleeping in the storm doesn’t indicate indifference, (after all, Jesus is in the boat with them) it demonstrates His control in the chaos. Though the storm came “without warning” for the disciples it brought no surprise or threat to Jesus. He knew they were not going to drown that night because He had other plans for His death that didn’t involve a boat and a storm, but a cross and an empty tomb.
Here’s something to remember. If you feel that Jesus has led you into a storm, know that He has a plan and a purpose. Find comfort that no storm, no crisis, nothing, takes Him by surprise. Know that He is up to something, as He was with the disciples, that will at least bring you opportunity to increase your faith to prepare you for greater things down the road.
Let’s not miss that Jesus got into the boat first. He intentionally climbed aboard so when the storm hit He would be right there with the disciples. Think about it, when the disciples were doing all they could to control their situation they were not looking to Jesus. Only when they realized all their efforts were not making a difference did they look to Him for help. Why do we look to Jesus only after we’ve worn ourselves out trying to handle the storms? Think of the fear and panic they would have avoided if they would have involved Jesus earlier than they had.
The next time you find yourself in a “storm” fight the tendency to fixate on the circumstances in your difficult time (“waves” and “wind”). Remember that Jesus is with you. Rather than allowing yourself to get overwhelmed, pause and sense His presence. He’s with you for a reason. He loves you and wants to teach you something that can only be learned in the class room of crisis. He also wants to act, so, ask Jesus to display His power. Look at these words from verse 26 “Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.” That’s what our Savior can do!
As the song writer expressed about Jesus: “Waymaker, Miracle worker, Promise keeper, Light in the darkness, My God, that is who you are!”