Mark 4:38- But He (Jesus) was in the stern, sleeping on the cushion. So they woke Him up and said to Him, “Teacher! Don’t you care that we’re going to die?”
This text transports us to middle of a dark and frightening scene. Jesus and His disciples are being flung around in a flimsy boat upon the Sea of Galilee, totally enveloped by a raging storm. As the disciples fight and struggle to stay afloat, and stay alive, upon the churning depths, Jesus is taking a leisurely snooze, catching his 40 winks, getting his beauty sleep, in the back of the boat. The contrast of scenes between the disciples and Jesus is striking. As the disciples take a look and notice a profoundly serene Jesus snoring away, we hear that frantic cry: “Teacher! Don’t you care that we’re going to die?” How could Jesus be so oblivious to the immanent danger to Himself and His disciples? How could He be so callous and insensitive to their plight? What else could one expect from another than to frantically bail water from the boat to keep it from sinking? To sleep in such a time as this is far from appropriate, and nearly rude. So in this crisis, where lives are on the line, what did Jesus expect from His disciples?
I’ve often asked myself why Jesus could rest so easily, so confidently, in the midst of such a ruckus. As I reflect, I think it’s because Jesus had such great faith and trust and confidence in His Father’s ability to care for Him and protect Him. Jesus knew that no matter the circumstance in which He found Himself, His Abba (Daddy) would be right there close to shelter and shield. After Jesus miraculously calms the storm, He chides the disciples for their apparent lack of faith. So in this crisis where lives were on the line, what did Jesus expect from His disciples? I think that Jesus would have loved it if they too has simply lain down with Him to literally rest in the care and providence of His Father.
As “Frankenstorm” is so vividly illustrating for us this week, there are times when we are literally riding out the storms of life. There are storms of circumstance that we face as well that are just as fierce and frightening. In the midst of these tempests it can be really easy to freak out and cry out to GodL “Don’t you care that we’re going to die?” As hard as it is, as counter intuitive and illogical as it may seem, sometimes it’s simply best that we give up trying to bail ourselves out of life’s impossible situations and simply lay down our defenses and rest in the knowledge that our God is not only big enough calm the storms, but also big enough to keep us safe as He rides through them with us. Hopefully, we won’t have to face another “Frankenstorm” in our lives, or our lifetimes. But, if we do, rest assured in the love, mercy, and care of God.