Read Mark 4:35-41
We were tired, hot, ready to be done. Sweaty, grasping, hungry people had surrounded us all day long. The only thing greater than the incessant crowds was their relentless needs. Big needs. Small needs. Heartbreaking ones. It was all just so overwhelming. But Jesus kept us focused on what He was doing. He told them stories that you’d have to be pretty interested in to understand. We didn’t even understand all of them. Truthfully, we don’t always understand Him! But then He would explain the stories and it all made so much sense. Then it wouldn’t. Then it would. But on days like today. Wow. Sometimes it’s a lot.
Finally, Jesus called it a day and we grabbed a boat to go across to the other side of the lake. We all breathed a long sigh of relief. The day was done. Even Jesus was tired. He went straight to the bottom of the boat and laid down. Leaning back into the sides of the boat, the wind cooled us off. How good it felt to be off our feet, sitting down…letting down after such a long day.
Are you kidding me? Just as we’re starting to truly relax, the cooling breeze changed to gale force winds. “Cut the sail!! Now!” We went from reclining to scrambling in a heartbeat. “Quick! Move faster! We’re going to lose the mast!”
Hearts in our throats, we held on for dear life doing everything we’d been taught to do. The waves were massive. One right after another crashed into the boat, raised us up, slammed us down. Water poured into the boat, threatening to sink it.
“Where’s Jesus?” “Jesus!” “He’s sleeping!” Our minds kind of stuttered. Sleeping! How could He be sleeping? How could anyone sleep through this? How could He sleep while we fight for our lives? Anger roared through my whole body. Sleeping? I don’t think so.
“Get up” we screamed over the wind. The noise was deafening. “Jesus! Wake up!” “Jesus!!!! We’re going to drown. Wake up! Help us!” Anger turned to fear. Why doesn’t He respond? What’s happening? If He’s somehow dead or drowned or something, what are our options? What should we do? What can we do? All that fired through me in a split second. I think we’re going to die, and I can’t stop it. Jesus is gone. I never thought I’d die by drowning.
Heartbeat seconds later, Jesus shakes his head as if coming fully awake and aware. Looking around He starts speaking nonsensically. “Wind, what are you doing? Pipe down. Now’s not the time. Stop blowing so hard. And water? You too. Calm down.”
If we hadn’t been so cold, wet, and terrified it might have been funny. Except that as soon as Jesus spoke…that instant…everything just…stopped. All that effort, all that emotion, all that upheaval…it just stopped and there we stood, dripping in the boat.
A long pregnant pause passed before finally one of us burst out, “Who are you?”
“Did you really think I’d let you drown? After all you’ve seen and what I’ve said, did you really think I’d leave you? Why don’t you have more faith in me?”
Dumbfounded, we just stood there. All of a sudden we knew He wasn’t who we thought. He was something else entirely. Our understanding of people and how life works didn’t cover this.
None of us had much to say after that. We were too shocked. Too caught in the crash of emotions. We were all staggering in the aftermath.
“Who are you?”. It was not a question we had thought to ask. Until now.
ACTION: What are your storms? Who are the needy ones in your world that are wearing you out? How has God responded differently than you thought He would, then you wanted him to? How would you want to go forward with Him from here?