Jesus asleep in the boat. A visual of peace in the midst of a raging storm. Did He just do that so He could wake up and silence the waves, and instill a new level of faith into His disciples? He DID that. Yes. I also think He did it to teach us that we TOO, can sleep in the MIDST of a raging storm.
We all know what sleep is (or ISN’T, if we have insomnia). In actual definition it is very interesting, in considering Jesus sleeping through a storm. Sleep – “A condition of body and mind in which the nervous system is relatively inactive, eyes closed, muscles relaxed, and consciousness practically suspended.” If you are truly sleeping, it matters NOT what is going on around you on the conscious level.
Jesus was sleeping in the stern of the boat in the middle of a raging storm, eyes closed, nervous system inactive, muscles relaxed, and consciousness NOT on any sort of high alert. The waves were crashing the sides of the boat, the wind was howling, the sky was dark, and it truly seemed they would capsize and…well…die. Remember, the disciples with Jesus were rough and tough fishermen. But even experienced fishermen could not fix the current storm. I assume they tried at least to save themselves. Finally they shouted to Him, “‘Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?’ And He got up.” (Mark 4:38)
Stop right here. Rewind.
Peace IN The Storm
What just happened in that sentence? They called on Him, and He responded. He got up from His nap. THEN He stopped the storm. It was truly “just like that”. He “rebuked the wind and said to the waves, Peace. Be still. And the wind died down and it was completely calm.” (Mark 4:39)
First of all, yes – He was Jesus. He could definitely speak to the winds and the waves and they would respond. BUT He then asked the disciples why they were so afraid? Wait. Really? Why would He think they would NOT be afraid? Weren’t they in a sinking boat in a raging storm? Yes.
I wonder if He did ALL of that to show all of us that indeed we can ALL weather ANY storm of life, IF we have faith. It was a faith builder and a living, breathing (sleeping) example. It was Him showing us it is indeed possible to rest during a storm. We can rest because we can trust our Captain. Period.
We TOO can be in a ship that seems headed for disaster. The waves can be brutally crashing against every part of our life and the winds can be mocking us with their howls of destruction. The sky above us can be darkened with not a tiny glistening star in sight. And in those storms we too can learn to sleep.
I would question how this could be true except for I have truly experienced it. I have been in that battered ship, found peace and learned to rest with no fear. At the end of the day, peace is NOT something that comes from the external or the things or people around us. Peace is an inside thing. Totally and completely. And can I add – miraculously! It enables you to weather the storms of life because in your clarity and faith you are able to trust the Captain of your ship. You learn to say “Your will be done” and mean it. You can mean it without question or putting an “if”, “and”, or “but” at the end of it.
THIS! “Your will be done.” This surrender of your own will is the source of peace in the midst of a raging storm.
Remember, the storm is NOT just crashing around you; it makes its way INSIDE of you. It seeks to destroy you from the inside out, long before the boat actually sinks. “I have learned to be content in whatsoever state (or storm) I am in.” I always wondered if that was really true; like – could I REALLY pull that off? In each and every storm I learn a little bit more how to find and HAVE peace. I learn a little bit more how to sleep through the raging waves. I learn a little bit more that Jesus came to be my example. I learn a little bit more how to trust the Captain of my soul. “For You have been a stronghold to the poor, a stronghold to the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat; for the breath of the ruthless is like a storm against a wall.” (Isaiah 25:4)
Sleep equals peace. Peace equals sleep.
Let God be the Master of the wind and the waves in your life. It’s amazing to surrender your will, your questions, your fears, your uncertainty and your battered being, and exchange it for peace. “When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.” (Proverbs 3:24)
Don’t jump ship. Have faith in your Captain. Catch a few Z’s. He’s got this!