Get In the Boat
“Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping.”- Matthew 8:24
Recently, Joanie and I had the joy of joining friends who were celebrating a special occasion. Part of the time included a half-day boat excursion. I love being on the water. There is something deeply refreshing, even therapeutic, about being out at sea. I am a big fan of sailing, fishing, and taking cruises. The fresh air, the sound of the waves, and being surrounded by stillness is a desirous prescription in my life.
I bet the disciples felt the same way (many of them were fishermen). The caveat, however, is if the weather is cooperating. On this occasion the disciples are fighting a major storm. Even for these seasoned seagoers, they are in over their heads as the wind is howling and the waves are crashing down. This makes Gilligan’s three-hour tour look like being on It’s a Small World ride at Disneyland. As the storm is surging Jesus’ friends are freaking out. In Matthew 8:25 it says, “The disciples went and woke Jesus, saying, ‘Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” Despite all their experience on the water, this storm was too big for them to face alone. It is in this moment that Jesus reminds them that the SAFEST PLACE to be is where HE ALREADY IS. Isaiah 4:6 speaks on the Lord’s covering over us, “It will be a shelter and shade from the heat of the day, and a refuge and hiding place from the storm and rain.”
This faith lesson and our faith living is not to be based on the external elements that come our way, but on the Savior who is the Way and makes our ways smooth, straight, and safe! Much of what we have heard taught or seen demonstrated on the topic of faith promotes taking risks, stepping out, and pursuing new things. Yes, Jesus does call us to believe and engage in the impossible. But I would like to suggest that sometimes the greatest act of faith is not pushing past your storm but pressing into the Savior’s presence. I would rather be with Jesus in a massive storm than somewhere safe apart from Him. It is being in the boat with Jesus that we find out what true faith looks like and what our God can do! This story ends with safe passage because of the saving work of Jesus. Matthew 8:26 details this dynamic deliverance, “Jesus 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.”
Get in the boat, get closer to Jesus and get victory over your storms!