Our family isn’t out of the storm yet.
And being in the storm has me thinking about another storm… when the disciples, terrified of drowning in a ferocious storm, woke up a peacefully sleeping Jesus with questions about whether or not he cared about their safety. He calmed the waters and turned to the others and essentially asked, “Why are you so afraid? Don’t you have any faith at all yet?”
The other night I was talking with my mother-in-law about my family’s situation. She referenced this passage and told me that in this situation that we’re facing, my only responsibility is to take refuge in the shelter of my savior’s wing and trust that he will provide and carry us through. I’m not supposed to try and fix it. I’m not supposed to bear the burden myself. I’m just supposed to rest in his love and mercy and wait for his redemption.
I read the passage the next morning, and something really clicked. I think it was what she was alluding to the night before, but it didn’t sink in until I reread the account of the storm. For as long as I can remember, I’ve read that story and gathered that Jesus was a little disappointed with the disciples for not handling the situation themselves. I imagined Him thinking, “Come on, guys, get it together! I’ve taught you how to handle situations like this! You know what to do! Why do you always need me to step in and save the day? You can do this!”
It wasn’t that I thought Jesus was cruel. I just imagined that he wanted them to independently face the storms of life equipped with the tools he’d previously instilled in them. I imagined that he wanted them to calm the storm.
But yesterday morning my perspective changed. When I read it, all I could see was Jesus sleeping on that rocking, rolling, and tossing boat. Sleeping. In the middle of a storm. And he wasn’t on a cruise ship, friends, where roller coaster-sized waves barely register on deck. How could he sleep in a time like that? He had to have been aware – at least on some level – of the boiling waters and perilous situation. But his nonchalance in the face of obvious danger irritated the disciples, prompting them to ask if he even cared about them.
I understood yesterday that Jesus wasn’t frustrated because the disciples couldn’t handle it by themselves and let him rest in peace. Even though it is often how I think I should behave, there is no scriptural precedent for Jesus telling us to “buck up and solve our problems by ourselves.” Jesus was saddened because the disciples weren’t yet at a place of trust. They couldn’t rest in the middle of the storm, trusting that God would protect them and provide for them. Jesus could sleep because He trusted the Father with everything.
I want that kind of peace. In the middle of a storm, I want to sleep peacefully knowing that no matter what’s happening outside of the boat, I’m inside it. And so is my savior. And because of that, I’ll eventually get to the other side of the shore.