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Sleeping Through the Storm

From a Lectio Divina* meditation on Mark 4:35-41

He swallowed hard and set his jaw. The ensuing panic was almost palpable. He ran to the front of the boat and set his feet firmly to maintain his balance against the waves hammering into the sides of the vessel. He reached down and shook the shoulder of the sleeping man, shouting “WAKE UP!” He could barely hear his own voice over the howling wind coming across the water.

“WAKE UP!” He shouted it again, violently rocking the man back and forth with both hands. Jesus opened his eyes, staring directly up into the face of the man struggling to maintain his footing on the wet deck.

“Teacher, don't you care if we drown?”

Jesus arose, moved to the edge of the boat and spoke authoritatively into the atmosphere.

“Quiet! Be still!”

In the blink of an eye there was complete and immediate calm. The water was instantly smooth as glass and there wasn’t the slightest hint of a breeze in the air. Jesus turned to the other man and asked two piercing questions:

“Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

But wait…WHO is Jesus talking to again?

I am suddenly able to visualize the familiar Biblical scene, but there is no man standing next to Jesus in near panic. There is no group of frightened passengers crowding around Him in disbelief. There’s only one person…ME! And then I hear the voice Jesus asking me:

“Do you really believe that if you had not awakened me we would have drowned?” He looks lovingly into my eyes and waits for me to respond.

I stare down and shuffle my feet nervously.

“I want you to really think about the questions I’m asking you.” He lifts my chin with His hand and looks directly into my eyes. “I want you to answer me.”

“Do you think I wasn’t aware of your storm?”

“Do you think I am oblivious to your fears and the dangers you face?’

“Had you not roused me, do you assume that I would be completely unaware of your dire circumstances?”

And then the final question, the one that made me hang my head in embarrassment:

“Do you believe I sleep through your storms?”

He lifts my chin again and I am compelled to look Him in the face.

“When the waves come crashing and the wind whips fiercely and the night is dark and ominous, remember that I’m RIGHT THERE in the boat with you. Never for one single minute fool yourself into thinking just because it appears to you that I’m sleeping that it means you are doomed.

You are, in fact, the safest you will ever be when I am riding the cusp on the storm with you. Never forget that the wind and the waves obey me. Focus on understanding who I really am and what I’m capable of. I NEVER SLEEP THROUGH YOUR STORM.”

Take a Five-Minute Walk

Take a short walk with God today and talk to Him about doubts that may surface from time to time or possibly doubts that plague you consistently. Then ask Him to help you answer at least one of the questions Jesus asked His disciples: “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

*Lectio Divina is an ancient method of prayer and meditation on the Scriptures.

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