The disciples were freaked out by the wind and the waves. They were on the lake at the bidding of their master but it didn’t seem to be working out so well. These men, some of whom were experienced fishermen, were convinced that they were going to die.
You can find this story in Matthew 8:23–27, Mark 4:35–41 and Luke 8:22-25. Matthew tells us that the boat was being swamped by the waves. Mark adds that the boat was being filled with water. Luke informs us that the disciples were in jeopardy.
What was Jesus doing while all this was happening? He was asleep in the back of the boat. The disciples are doing what they were told to do, they are facing death and the one who told them to do it is asleep!
Can you relate to this? I sure can. We do what we think is right, we follow the instructions of the one who claims control over human history and sometimes it looks as though it will end badly. We are looking for comfort and Jesus seems to be asleep. We echo the disciples’ question, “don’t you care that we are perishing?”
I am convinced that even while he slept, Jesus was in control of the situation. His apparent unconcern about the storm caused the disciples to be alarmed. Yet he was master even when his mastery was not immediately on display.
The disciples’ perception did not match reality. They did not see the entire picture and, often, neither do I. I get caught up in the here-and-now. I get caught up in my own search for safety and comfort. I get caught up in a whiny self-focused funk that prevents me from seeing the way God is moving behind the scenes to accomplish his purpose.
Jesus may have been asleep in that boat. Jesus may appear to be distant and uncaring right now, but he still maintains control and his will cannot be thwarted by incompetence or disobedience. He stilled that storm on the lake and he will eventually still the storm that is around us right now. All I need to do is trust in the one who has proved trustworthy.