Posted by: forfreedomalone | 14/10/2016

Asleep on the job?

Last night, and today, we are in a storm in the Mediterranean.
The wind is blowing between Force 8 and 9 on the Beaufort Scale. The waves are around 20’ and the ship is rolling as well as crashing into troughs from time to time.

There is thunder, lightning and torrential rain.

This has gone on all night and appears to be getting worse as day breaks.
Moving about the ship is very difficult as it moves back and forth, up and down.  Even the good sailors cannot hold a straight line.

It was very hard to sleep, in fact, we found it more or less impossible due to constant movement and the sounds of the ship as she fought her way through the storm.
We have been in worse than this, but not for a while.

As I lay listening to it all, I thought of the disciples in more than one storm.  How fearful they would have been in their little boats. They depended on their sails, which could be torn to shreds by the wind. They had little if any shelter from the wind, rain and seas. They had no lifeboats and they, more than likely, could not swim. They would have been cold, wet and VERY frightened. The storm would have filled their thinking and emotions.
The stories of the storms in which they found themselves are often told by those who have no experience of the sea and would, therefore, be fearful in a small swell. These boys were not such men, they were well used to swells and seas, to wind and waves. They were not easily frightened. We get evidence of this from Peter being willing to walk on the water and, later, being willing to draw his sword in defence of Jesus.

The disciples were seasoned seamen. They would have been in storms before and knew how to cope with them, so if they were afraid it was no summer breeze, this was a serious situation.
Yet, we are told, in Matthew 8:24, that Jesus was asleep during such a time.

My husband and I are seasoned sailors, we know that this storm is not that bad, as storms go, yet we are experiencing the effects of it and we could not sleep.  Those young men must have been terrified, for the Bible to say they were afraid, as they were so very far out of their depth and experience.

To look out of the windows of our ship you would think we were going to sink and never be heard from again and I am sure they felt the same.

It is so easy, in life, when storms hit us, to look at the elements of that storm and conclude that all is sunk. We feel the wind hitting us and we think “I cannot stand in this gale”. The seas crash upon us and we think “I will never be able to get through this”. Yet, Jesus would be sleeping.

Does that mean that he did not care? Not in the least.
By sleeping he was showing the disciples, and us, that there is a peace to be had even in the midst of the most horrendous storm; a peace which surpasses all understanding, touches the soul and causes us to rest.

His sleeping was not an indication of unawareness, nor of lack of care, but of total rest in the one who would cause him to reach the other side unharmed.

Nowhere did Jesus say that we would not feel the effects of the storms of life, but he promised to be with us in them. If you are in a storm and have the feeling Jesus is asleep, maybe you should take a leaf out of his book and rest too. He is not ignoring you, he is telling you, “All is well, no harm will befall you, rest, as I rest, in the Father’s arms. We will arrive safely on the other side”.

The disciples were not totally convinced by this and feared anyway, but we can learn from what happened next that they had nothing to fear. Jesus calmed the storm.
They saw his power and his authority in the midst of a terrifying storm. If we could but see that power and authority in the midst of their storm we would not fear in the midst of ours. He is the same yesterday, today and forever.

Build yourself up in the faith that he never changes and that, although you may be only able to see and feel the effects of the storm now, he right there with you, sleeping and untroubled. Let his rest give you courage and faith to rest too.

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