"They all got into a boat and began to cross over to the other side of the lake. And Jesus, exhausted, fell asleep. Suddenly a violent storm developed, with waves so high the boat was about to be swamped. Yet Jesus continued to sleep soundly. The disciples woke him up, saying, “Save us, Lord! We’re going to die!” But Jesus reprimanded them. “Why are you gripped with fear? Where is your faith?” Then he stood up and rebuked the storm and said, “Be still!” And instantly it became perfectly calm. The disciples were astonished by this miracle and said to one another, “Who is this Man? Even the wind and waves obey his Word." Matthew 8:23-27 TPT (see Mark 4:35-41 and Luke 8:22-25)
Can you relate to the disciples? Have you experienced a storm in your life and pleading with God to help you to save you from it? I'm sure we can list off a myriad of unhappy situations that felt like this. I am currently raising my hand. I know I have.
Quick story. While on vacation a group of us decided to go on a banana boat (if you don't know what it is, google it for reference). It was supposed to be a fun experience, let's cut to the chase, it wasn't (lol, I can laugh about it now). We sat on this blown up banana with a lifevest and thick cord to hold onto. No straps, no nothing, all while being pulled by a speed boat. Saltwater was splashing everywhere, it was wet and slippery and we were bouncing all over the place, even on top of each other. My eyes were closed the entire time and I was pleading with God that I don't fall off because I was getting tired of holding on for dear life. Someone even fell off into the ocean (don't worry they turned about and got her). I remember being scared of falling off. I didn't know how to swim and kept asking myself when it was going to be over. I sat in the front (big mistake). My arms were hurting so bad after. If we had gone a little longer I wouldn't have managed. I was so happy it was over.
So, I can definitely imagine how the disciples felt in that boat. The panic and fear. These are two different experiences but the feelings are just the same. SCARED and FEARFUL.
Although the storm is literally a storm in this parable, when we have unfavorable situations in our lives, it feels like a storm. Right? It feels like our entire world is crashing and being tossed. To be honest, our current climate in the world feels like a storm. The side effects of the pandemic and the injustices are traumatizing for some.
Us being humans, we want things to be peachy. We want things to be copasetic. But when the storms come it's the only thing you can think about day in and day out. You want to make it go away. You want to find a solution. You search high and low to fix it. That feeling you get in your stomach. I've been there. It's consuming, isn't it?
When you read the scripture, did you notice that Jesus was asleep during the storm? How can he even sleep? Doesn't he feel the entire boat rocking back and forth and the waves crashing against it? Water was probably getting inside the boat. Yet, Jesus was chilling, maxing, and relaxing, all cool in the boat (I had to do it). There is a lesson in that. You can see Jesus's character on display at that moment. Jesus was calm, peaceful, untroubled, undisturbed, totally UNBOTHERED. Then he displayed his power. He commanded the storm to stop and it did. He questioned the disciples about their faith.
Now, these are some of my questions and observations I had after reading the parable. How come Jesus was so calm? How can I be this calm, peaceful, unbothered, untroubled by storms? How can I be so still? Did I allow the storm to get inside me? Jesus didn't allow the storm to get inside him. How do I not allow the storm to get inside me? Jesus used his words to calm the storm. He pleaded for calm and stillness.
Although we cannot control external situations that happen to us- as people say, we can control how we respond to it.
I want to leave you with some scriptures to turn to whenever trials, storms, tribulations, and banana boats (lol) enter your life.
- "And everything I’ve taught you is so that the peace which is in me will be in you and will give you great confidence as you rest in me. For in this unbelieving world you will experience trouble and sorrows, but you must be courageous, for I have conquered the world!" John 16:33 TPT
- "Are you weary, carrying a heavy burden? Then come to me. I will refresh your life, for I am your oasis. Simply join your life with mine. Learn my ways and you’ll discover that I’m gentle, humble, easy to please. You will find refreshment and rest in me. For all that I require of you will be pleasant and easy to bear." Matthew 11:28-30 TPT
- "Let this hope burst forth within you, releasing a continual joy. Don’t give up in a time of trouble, but commune with God at all times." Romans 12:12 TPT
- "For God will never give you the spirit of fear, but the Holy Spirit who gives you mighty power, love, and self-control." 2 Timothy 1:7 TPT
Be safe and well during these times.