Who is in your boat?
by Teresa LeNeave
All they knew about Jesus was that he was asleep in the boat. Not the waves, the storm, the thunder, the lightening nor the constant back and forth rocking of the boat woke him up. All the while, waves were smashing into the boat spilling torrents of water onto the deck. The disciples grabbed every bucket they could find to scoop out the water while trying to catch on-deck supplies before they washed away in the next big wave. In desperation, someone realized Jesus was not on deck helping with the attempts to survive the flood of water filling the boat. This was an alarming storm. An unusual storm. One not expected. (Matthew 8:23-27).
Clearly, this wasn't an ordinary rain storm with regular ocean waves slapping the boat. These men were experienced seaman, they knew the sea and the weather, but this storm surprised them with waves so violent and so powerful that they feared for their life. Water was actually rolling over the top of the boat washing away barrels and ropes and supplies. Meanwhile, the disciples were screaming orders at each in an attempt to save all they could.. This wasn't the disciples first trip across the sea, but they believed this storm threatened to destroy them and their ship.
While all this panic was going on above deck, Jesus was sleeping. He was sleeping while the disciples were fighting for their lives.
It may have been Peter, or even John, who'd had enough. Afraid and half-angry, they remembered Jesus was on board. Holding onto wet, slippery rails they scrambled downstairs to wake Jesus up. Screaming over the loud, pounding of water hitting the deck above, they yelled, "Wake up! Save us, Lord! We are perishing!
Rolling over, dazed from deep sleep, Jesus tried to wake up. Rubbing his eyes, still exhausted, he heard them yell, "Lord, waves are covering the boat. Get up and save us!"
Still in a state of half-sleep, he tried to awaken the sleeping giant inside them by asking questions like, "What are you afraid of? Why do you have such little faith? Where's your faith? Why are you afraid?"
On land, before boarding the boat, the disciples had just witnessed several miracles. They knew Jesus had the power to stop the storm. But, Jesus wanted them to know they could stop the storm. Like all attacks, this attack, was meant, by Satan, to bring fear into the disciple's lives. Jesus had a different purpose. He wanted the attack to increase their faith.
Attacks. They come at unexpected times when we least expect it. Obviously. As you read this, our country is facing a lot of storms; many face storms in their soul; in their families; in their churches; in their health. Some of you could say you're facing a great storm right now while Jesus appears to be sleeping.
As you journey through life, remember Jesus never meant salvation to be a walk in fear, but a walk in faith. We don't have to live a life filled with fear if we remember who's on the boat with us. Jesus rolled over, pulled himself up and spoke, rebuking the winds and the sea. The Bible says there was a great calm. Even the winds and the waves obeyed him.
Who's in the boat with you? Is Jesus in your boat? Or, are you trying to battle the storm with just you and your family or maybe your friends? The end result is determined by who's in your boat with you. Jesus has the power to comfort. Heal. Restore. Forgive. He doesn't want us to live our lives in fear, but in faith. I hope it's Jesus in your boat.