They were terrified! They had been in lots of storms, but never one like this.
Most of them were experienced mariners. They had grown up around water, were professional fishermen, knew how to handle a boat.
But they were no match for this storm.
Jesus was sound asleep, and that rubbed them the wrong way. They woke him and gave him an earful: “Don’t you care if we drown?”
Still, their reproach was mixed with trust or they wouldn’t have bothered waking him.
This is your story too, for you have been ambushed by storms where your abilities and faith came up short and solutions seemed out of reach. You may be in the middle of a bad one at this moment.
You’ve prayed for help, but heard no answer. God seems unaware, unconcerned, asleep. You’re tied in knots, and his seeming indifference shakes you.
You could understand it if you were a bad person, but you’re not a bad person. You are a committed Christian!
So you ask … Why me? Why this? Why now?
You thought—maybe were told—that your commitment to him would bring an end to your troubles. Hasn’t happened.
Sometimes obedience is where your troubles begin rather than end. Jesus told those disciples to get in the boat and head for the other side of the lake. So that’s what they did. They didn’t get in this storm because they disobeyed, but because they obeyed.
You have climbed into the boat with him, as opposed to the less-committed that have staked out a spot under an umbrella on the beach. So you can’t understand why you’re drowning in this mess.
“Don’t you care if we drown?” they howled.
“He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, ‘Quiet! Be still!’ Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.”
He rebuked the wind and waves. He also rebuked the disciples: “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” Matthew’s account has him taunting them for their feeble faith: “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Luke has it as a question: “Where is your faith?”
You may feel a disconnect with this story, because he stopped their storm, but he hasn’t stopped yours. He still may. Then again, he may not.
You are reaching in the dark for the handle of faith; you don’t see him, don’t hear him. “Because you have seen me, you have believed,” Jesus said to one of those disciples; “blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” You are called on to dive deep and believe, even when there seems to be no reason to.
You need faith on steroids—trust strong enough to know that while he may not always deliver you from storms, he will always be with you through storms.
There were two questions that day …
Their question was, “Don’t you care?”
His question was, “Where is your faith?”
Calming the wind and waves was easy. Calming the disciples wasn’t. Our greatest faith struggle is within us, not around us.
There’s a good chance that it was Peter who shook Jesus awake and spit out the question, “Don’t you care?”
But after a lifetime of facing ferocious storms, Peter jotted this sentence and left it for us: “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Pet. 5:7).