My dad was a sailor, and we love to hear him tell his stories about when he was not quite into his twenties wearing that white “dixie cup”, old photos and all! Fast forward about 20 years, and I also love the story about when he and my soon-to-be stepmother were dating:
Dad had taken this nice woman for a fun day of sailing on our little Sunfish, when I get a call from Dad saying that the sailboat had caught the wind and had capsized, both he and Jane had been dumped into the cold water, and he had lost his keys (as well as his glasses) in the lake. Jane’s son (the only one of us kids who had a driver’s license at the time) was coming by to pick up an extra set of keys, and would I please get those ready for him???
(In Dad’s defense, his stint in the navy didn’t include sailing anything. He worked on airplanes and engines.)
And she married him anyway. (Well played, Mom!)
So I love this narrative about the disciples, some of these professional fishermen not wholly unaccustomed to choppy waters, getting a bit panicky when a storm rolls in. Jesus’ reaction is classic—
“Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion.”
Now, it could have been that He was just so exhausted (since He had a human body). OR, it could have been that He just wasn’t worried about the outcome. At all. (Probably both.) And this was disconcerting to the fishermen…
“The disciples woke him up, shouting, ‘Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?’”
They were shouting. At God. (I just love that He includes that in the story.)
Ever been there? Many, many have, so rest assured that you’re in good company.
“Don’t you care that that my son is on drugs?!”
“Don’t you care that this depression is hanging on me again?!”
“Don’t you care that I can’t find a job?!”
“Don’t you care that the cancer is back?!”
Having Jesus in the boat was no guarantee that bad things weren’t going to happen. His presence certainly didn’t prevent the gale from threatening their journey, but that’s all it did—threaten. The disciples didn’t know it, but while they were being tossed about in a panic, someone nearby was desperate to meet Jesus. So their safety wasn’t just about their safety. Amazingly, Jesus got them to the needed destination, which was where He then healed the poor guy with a “legion” of demons, who was then sent out to evangelize the Decopolis.
Stormy seas are a part of life, even (sometimes especially) a Christian’s life. The important thing is to make sure Jesus is in your boat.
And then we can rest easy that we will, in fact, arrive wherever we are needed for the next encounter.
Mark 4:38 Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.