23. Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. 24. Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping.
Familiarity breeds contempt, some say. I have said before there is a danger in assuming that because you have heard a scripture passage expounded many times you find anything new in it. These verses are part of a very familiar passage. It is a powerful story of fear and concern on the part of the disciples and the care of Christ for his disciples. I have taught through this passage and used in for the basis of a sermon, more than once.
A Christian’s life is not free of fear or difficulty. Fear is public enemy number one for the believer. Max Lucado writes,
“Fear corrodes our confidence in God’s goodness. We begin to wonder if love lives in heaven. If God can sleep in our storms, if his eyes stay shut when our eyes grow wide, if he permits storms after we get on his boat, does he care? Fear unleashes a swarm of doubts, anger-stirring doubts.”
We are never promised a life of ease just because Jesus saves us. If we could write it, our lives would be pain-free, stress-free, worry-free, and care-free. If this were true, then how would our faith in God be stretched? How then would we benefit from the promises that our God has made? What would grow us to a deeper level of trust? The reality is that Christians struggle. The reality is that Christians face persecution and distress. The reality is that Christians suffer sickness, experience financial difficulty, lose loved ones, and deal with heart-wrenching family problems.
The disciples were experiencing the same thoughts and emotions that flood our minds. The disciples got into the boat with Christ and then a great storm came upon them. Again, Lucado writes, “getting on board with Christ can mean getting soaked with Christ.” The difference for the Christian in this world is a rock, a promise, a person. The difference for the one who has given their life to Christ is that while the storm may blow, batter, and bruise, we won’t be moved. We possess a stabilizing force in our lives that not everyone enjoys. Getting soaked with Christ means that He may not take away our storm, instead He will cover us with peace, provision, and power in order to grow us through the storm.