Jesus asleep in the boat

This is written by Florence Gildea. She thinks life is the Caption Competition round of Have I Got News For You and pretends to be more northern than she really is.

Matthew 8:23-27

23 Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. 24 Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke him, saying, 'Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!'
26 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.
27 The men were amazed and asked, 'What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!'

Reflection

Have you ever worried that the reason the storm in your life is still raging is because God has fallen asleep? I have. I'll pray the same prayer a hundred times in case He was temporarily distracted. I do whatever I think will get His attention. It's exhausting.

The disciples had the same fear: they assumed Jesus didn't care they were in peril. They had a set of expectations about how God would act if He was who He said He was and, because He didn't follow their script and timetable, they doubted His character.

But they hadn't even asked for help. In their fear, they leapt onto the offensive without talking to Jesus. Their anxiety doesn't only mean that they have forgotten the miraculous powers and compassion Jesus had just demonstrated. It's almost like they had forgotten Jesus was in the boat with them.

This is the truth that gives us rest: Jesus is always in the boat with us. Storms will always loom stubbornly on the horizon - putting off rest until they disappear means we'll never have peace. But we can always trust that God is lovingly present with us, and working miracles - even if they don't look like we expect.

Often, like the disciples, it is our fear which gets in the way of us resting. So, hear Jesus asking you the question He asked them: why are you afraid?

Let him see your rawest fears and try to trust him to take care of them for you. And, whenever doubt creeps in that He won't take those fears seriously, ask him to show you more of His heart for you.

He cares more passionately than you can fathom. He listens even to the words you daren't utter. He hasn't forgotten you.
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