One day he got into the boat with his disciples and said to them, "Let us go across to the other side of the lake." So they set out, and as they sailed he fell asleep. And a storm of wind came down on the lake, and they were filling with water, and were in danger. And they went and woke him, saying "Master, Master, we are perishing!" And he awoke and rebuked the wind and the raging waves; and they ceased, and there was a calm. Luke 8:22-24
I admit this is a faith lesson. The verses immediately following have Jesus asking his disciples "Where is your faith?"
To my strange sense of humor though, in addition to this being a story of faith, I love its visual nature and how funny it actually is when I picture it.
The scene is set. Here are all these men in a large boat and they're going across the huge lake because Jesus wants to minister to the people on the other side. Many of the disciples are experienced fisherman who are used to navigating this very body of water.
The boat lulls Jesus to sleep. He doesn't have anything to worry about. It's been a long day of walking and now he's settled in for the ride.
But a storm comes up. And not just any storm. A mother of all storms. The wind is howling. The boat is starting to fill with water. Waves are crashing. The boat is being thrown all over the lake. The men are yelling and frightened.
What is Jesus doing? HE'S STILL SLEEPING!! He is oblivious to the whole thing. Lost in slumber.
The disciples have to wake him up! "Hey, Rabbi, could you help us out here before we die? I mean, c'mon, you've got the inside line to God so maybe you could wipe the sleep out of your eyes and do something!"
I envision Jesus being rousted and still not panicking in the slightest. The Bible says he rebuked the wind. It doesn't say he yelled at it. When I've rebuked or admonished my children I don't even raise my voice. I speak quietly, let them know I'm disappointed and tell them to cease what they're doing. That's what Jesus does to the wind. He puts the wind and the waves on a time out.
I'm not sure he ever got to a standing position. He just rolls over, says to the wind and the water, "Knock it off," then turns to the disciples and says, "What's wrong with you? Where's your faith?"
I've always wondered whether or not he just went back to sleep at that point.
One of the most important lessons to me in this story is that the disciples were where Jesus wanted them to be. They're in that boat on the water because JESUS ASKED THEM TO GO. That's why he questions their faith. "Do you really think I'd take you somewhere for you to perish?" he practically asks. "I'm right here with you. Your fate is my fate."
When God is directing your steps there need be no fear about your journey. There is no storm too big for us to weather because we have Jesus in the boat with us. He just might be taking a nap.
Hugs and blessings,