The day began like any other day for the twelve disciples as they followed Jesus from town to town; probably taking short cuts through bodies of water. For goodness sake, most of them were fishermen by trade. Surely they could navigate the waters with ease. Which is why when Jesus suggested in Luke 8:22-25 they cross the water to get to the other side, they set out to do just that: navigate the waters and guide a boat full of people across safely. They had done it before. They’ll do it again. However, their confidence was no match for what was to come.
As they were sailing across the lake, Jesus fell asleep. Jesus’ humanity was on full display here. He needed rest. But, that is not the main theme of this text. Scripture describes what happened after he fell asleep as a “fierce windstorm”. In fact, it was fierce enough to swamp the boat and capsize it. Because it was a wind storm, there were no ominous clouds, no heavy rains, no peeling thunder or crashing lightening. Just winds strong enough to whip around them and create waves large enough to plummet them to their deaths. Still, Jesus slept.
When Jesus awoke, he REBUKED the winds and the waves. He not only rebuked the winds, but he rebuked the repercussions of the wind. Many biblical scholars believe that Satan himself had a significant hand in the storm for two reasons: 1. the disciple’s fear and 2. what Jesus would encounter on the other side of the lake. When Jesus calmed the wind and waves, he asked the disciples “Where is your faith?” Faith is just that… Trust. When the winds and circumstances tell a different narrative than the goodness of God in his keeping his children or his power, we must ask ourselves the same question. Where is your faith, Louisa? We must talk to ourselves the way Jesus would. We mustn’t go about life’s cirumstances demanding the winds and waves obey us. Our job is to marvel at the way that even when Jesus seems to be asleep and not caring about our storms, he is there. He knows. And he’s experiencing the winds and waves WITH us. Our job is to cling to him. Trust him. Through this, we learn to not trust in our safety or creature comforts.
It was Jesus’ idea to cross on the water to the other side to begin with. We do not trust the winds and waves will cease to fiercely swamp our boats. Jesus actually promises us we will have troubles and tribulation in THIS life. Instead, we trust that crossing the lake to get to the other side was his idea, and he is with us all along for the ride. Our comfort and safety are not passengers with us in the boat. Jesus is. When that storm does come, with its winds and waves demanding our faith, our lives, our marriage, our children, our jobs, our dreams, our hopes, we speak to us the way Jesus would: Where is your faith, dear one? Do you trust me? Yes? Then cling to me. Hold on so tightly and don’t let go even if we go under, we go under together. We are one.
Remember this dear child: whatever waits for you on the other side of the storm will be an opportunity to put the faith that grew so wildly inside you during the storm in action by loving others. The rescued rescue. The healed heal. The filled pour out.