Scripture: Mathew 8: 23 – 27 Now when He got into a boat, His disciples followed Him. 24 And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves: but He was asleep. 25 And His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!” 26 But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. 27 So the men marveled, saying, “Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?”
Many have said during this season that we are all in the same boat, but the reality is we are not. We may be in the same storm but our boats are different. Some are weathering the storm in rafts, dinghies or sailboats, while others are in yachts. Conversely, the disciples were in the same boat, in the midst of a violent storm, with Jesus and yet they were afraid. There can be much speculation as to why they were afraid or why they should not have been afraid, but the fact is they were afraid. Moreover, these were tough men who were no strangers to the sea or its storms, but they were still fearful. What type of storm could cause fear in such men? The scripture says, and suddenly a great tempest (storm, hurricane, typhoon) arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves (Mat 8:24). So just like COVID, this event caught the disciples by surprise. They were not prepared for a storm of this proportion. It doesn’t mean they weren’t prepared for a storm; they were fishermen, but they were hit suddenly and hard. Imagine, the waves covering the boat and filling it with water, the men trying to get the water out of the boat while the boat is being tossed to and from by waves and wind. Sails ripping, beams breaking, men yelling and trying to move about the boat while it is literally being rocked violently. They are wet, cold, despondent and afraid yet the Lord slept peacefully. The disciples were afraid despite having the Lord with them on the boat. They were afraid despite being with the Lord who had previously performed miracles in their presence. They had little faith even after witnessing the great faith of the Centurion soldier. Let’s be real, the disciples were fully aware of who Jesus was and what He could do but they were still afraid. So, did they believe He would let them perish? Did they doubt His power? Did they see and still not believe? Regardless of the reason, they were afraid in the midst of a storm that struck suddenly and was wreaking havoc on their boat; even though Christ was with them. While this was happening, Jesus slept. Jesus, the master of the sea, was unbothered by the storm and in His human form needed rest. Nonetheless, the scripture says that the disciples went and woke Him saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!” So, they knew he could save them and went to Him when they were afraid and asked for help. They acknowledged His power with that simple statement, “Lord, save us!” but also admitted their doubt by saying, “We are perishing!” They knew but did not believe; sound familiar? Jesus asked, “Why are you fearful? O You of little faith?” Then He got up and rebuked (reprimanded, admonished) the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. The scripture then said that the men marveled saying, “Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?” (Matt 8:26-27)
Now, imagine those same disciples in that boat in that storm without Jesus. The with and without makes a big difference in this scenario and in life. Believers tend to be like the disciples: they are on the boat, in the storm with Jesus and are still afraid. They tend to believe that they are on the same boat as non-believers when they are not. The Believer’s boat is different. The Believer’s boat is designed to weather all storms because the one who controls the storm built the boat and is on the boat. Yes, the storms of life will come; death, sickness, unemployment, relationship problems, addiction and disease, but we can take comfort in that fact that although we are in the same storm as others we are not in the same boat.
Prayer: Father, thank you for rescuing us from the storms of life. Thank you rebuking our fears but not our request. Thank you for coming when we call and calming our concerns. Forgive us Father for doubting Your Power. Forgive us for knowing but not believing in Your protection, Your goodness, Your grace, and Your mercy. When the storms of life are raging it is You who calms the troubled waters of our hearts and minds. Thank you for always being with us and thank you for Your Son, Jesus the Christ who died on the cross for our sins. In the matchless name of Jesus, Amen.
By Patricia Towns