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NIV is used unless otherwise noted.

Asleep In The Boat: Day 1

Then He got into the boat and His disciples followed Him. Without warning a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke Him, saying “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” 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. The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey Him!”                                                                                     
Matthew 8:23-27

This familiar story—like all Scripture—is simple but not easy. Jesus and the disciples are in a boat on the Sea of Galilee, a body of water known, even to this day, for sudden, dangerous storms. Jesus, exhausted after an intense day of ministry to large crowds, falls asleep as the boat sails from one side of the lake to the other. A storm comes up without warning and threatens to capsize the boat. The disciples make their way to where Jesus is still sleeping, awaken Him and ask Him to do something before they are all drowned. Jesus rebukes the storm and instantly the winds and waves are stilled. The disciples, eyewitnesses to every moment of this drama, turn to each other and ask, “What kind of man is this?”

There was not one moment in the life of our Lord when He was not purposefully revealing the Father. In allowing a dangerous storm to almost overcome them, Jesus displayed His divinity through His mastery over nature. Calming a raging storm with a word is something only God could do; a point clearly missed by the disciples.

This week we are going to extract that snapshot moment when the winds were howling and the waves were pounding against a little storm-tossed boat and we are going to expand it to cover times in our own lives when we, like the disciples, call out to a Jesus who seems unaware of our situation or indifferent to our cries for help. Perhaps in so doing we will come to understand that what can seem to be God’s unresponsiveness is only His perfect timing. His purpose is not to deliver us from but deliver us through the storm, safe on the other side. In so doing, He matures our faith and He glorifies Himself.

Nancy Shirah

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