“Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples.Luke 8:25
In fear and amazement they asked one another, “Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water and they obey him.”
The disciples are in a storm on the lake. The waves and wind came upon them very quickly and began to overwhelm the boat. If you’ve ever been caught in a storm on the lake you know the fear. You do everything you know to do and if the waves still come and the wind stays up there is a point at which you realize, “I’m not sure we’re going to make it out of this.” I’ve had a couple of those experiences and they are unforgettable. Any trip to the lake or sea can end in disaster; you have to know that if you are going to be on the water. That’s where the disciples are in this moment. The way Luke tells it, “they are in great danger”. Jesus, meanwhile is asleep, probably exhausted from teaching and ministry.
When they wake Jesus up and tell him their situation, he gets up, tells the wind and waves to stop, and they do. Just like that.
When the power of God reveals itself in our ordinary lives it does often bring “amazement and fear”. How can we be so close to a God that will get so intimately involved in our daily human situations? God invites us and even encourages us to be that close.
The disciples are still grounded in the temporal. No doubt they were navigating this storm that blew up in the best way possible. They had experience on the water. They were skilled; they know this lake. This is not their first storm, but it is their first storm with Jesus involved in their lives.
When they had exhausted their own efforts, they asked Jesus to get involved. Jesus doesn’t tell them to adjust a sail. He doesn’t give them any nautical wisdom that will suddenly put the boat in a different position against the raging waves. Jesus has a spiritual strategy and draws from the eternal. After all, he created the wind and the water.
Sometimes it feels like our world is in a raging storm. The waves are crashing over our boats! The wind is shifting us in directions we didn’t plan or intend to go. The sky will clear for a day or two and then here it comes – another storm. This story with Jesus and his disciples on the lake seems to encourage us to take on a different strategy when the storm descends. Rather than first going to our temporal methods, what if, in the storm, we reach first for the eternal. What if we run right on down and wake Jesus up and ask for divine intervention? What if we put all of our skill, knowledge and wisdom at the faithful service of Christ? Even if it means, we don’t use anything we have known or used before.
Jesus is showing the disciples what is possible with God. Christ gives us access and encourages us to ask for help. It means letting go of how we think “help” needs to come or what it needs to look like. It means trusting that the God who created the wind and the waves (and us!) will guide us to a safe harbor that we will never reach on our own. Where is our faith?
Creator God, you who set the skies and seas in place, we love you. We welcome your help and wisdom as we walk into this day. We humbly and boldly ask for your intervention in the situations we are navigating. In our families; our minds and hearts; our businesses; our health...whatever it may be. We name it before you now and ask, "Jesus, we are in danger, please come and calm the wind and waves. Lead us to safe harbor. We trust you completely. Let it be. Amen.