Yes, Jesus is the Good Shepherd, but Jesus has a way of doing and saying things you least expect, especially when you’re facing a faith-challenging storm. Remember when he was with the disciples crossing the Sea of Galilee in a boat? Jesus goes to sleep and a storm comes up . . . but not just any storm . . . a faith-challenging storm.
Big storm? No problem! These weren’t just any disciples. They were experienced, seasoned sailors – fishermen – men who spent their lives on the water, made their living from the sea. And Jesus slept.
Regardless of how good they were handling a boat, even though they started out the voyage with complete confidence in their knowledge and ability, waves began breaking over the side of the boat. Every sailor knows what that means. And Jesus slept.
At sea with blue water over the bow means you’re going down, and that almost certainly means death. The disciples (the sailors) began to panic. Jesus was leading this voyage. He was the one who instructed them all to get into the boat and disembark. Where was he? Jesus slept.
Jesus – He just doesn’t do what we think he should . . . especially when we’re facing a storm.
The disciples frantically wake him up. He listens to their desperate cries, “We’re going to die!!” and then he . . .
. . . comforts them? Gives them a hug? Tells them everything is going to be okay? Looks softly into their eyes and assures them, “You’ll make it?”
Not exactly! In the midst of waves crashing over the bow of the boat, Jesus criticizes them saying, “Oh you of little faith”! Jesus expected them to have faith in the midst of the storm.
Really? In the middle of a fierce, life-threatening, faith-challenging storm, Jesus rebukes the sailors . . . because they don’t have faith? So, what was Jesus’ point? Why should grown men, fearing immanent death not fear? . . . not panic? . . . not desperately shake Jesus awake in the midst of their biggest fear-inducing trial?
It’s as if Jesus was saying, “I am here, with you. Regardless of what is happening, there is, literally, no reason to fear. Relax. Trust in me.” Is this how you are responding in the storm you are facing, right now?
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We all have blue water coming over the bow in some way, at some point. Are you at that point right now?
Financial stress, relational troubles, sickness, uncertainty, physical trauma, . . . what is the nature of the storm you are facing? . . . and, how does God expect you to respond?
Is your faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ strong? Are you confident in God’s sovereignty and goodness? Are you walking in peace in the midst of the storm? Or, do you want to grab Jesus by the robe and shake him awake, trying to get him to pay attention to you and your situation?
Where is our focus? Are you, like the disciples, seeing only the waves or, are you resting in the reality of presence of Christ, with you, in the midst of life’s storm? Stop looking at your circumstances. Put your faith, confidence, and trust in Him and you will be covered in a peace no storm can touch.
Matt Jacobson is a biblical marriage coach and founder of FaithfulMan.com a biblical marriage, parenting, and discipleship ministry providing written and audio teaching, as well as couples marriage coaching. He is the co-host (with his wife, Lisa) of Faithful Life Podcast and is author of the bestseller, 100 Ways to Love Your Wife. Matt is pastor of Tumalo Bible Fellowship and is married to Lisa, founder of Club31Women.com (they have 8 kids!).