*Five Minute Friday is an initiative set up by Lisa-Jo Baker over at Surprised by Motherhood. It has now been taken over by Kate over at Heading Home. The basic premise is to take the word Kate gives and write, non-stop for 5 minutes. Then you stop and post. Read more about it here. This October, I am taking part in a series based on this called “31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes”, in which we commit to writing from the prompt as usual, but everyday rather than just on a Friday. Read more here.
“And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. A windstorm arose on the sea, so great that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him up, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!” And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, you of little faith?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a dead calm. They were amazed, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him?””
I often come back to this passage, particularly in harder times in life, when my own storms are raging around me. Every time, I notice something new in it. It is short, yet it speaks volumes.
I am often struck by the fact that Jesus is sleeping when the storm strikes. So often in difficult times it is easy to feel that God has abandoned us, that we are alone and He is nowhere near. But perhaps He is. Perhaps He is right beside us, but He is sleeping, peaceful, awaiting our cry for Him, our faith in Him. If God is peaceful in the midst of the storm, it must be that He trusts it will work out for the best, that all will be well. Can we not trust that, too?
Another thing that I find amazing is that despite rebuking their lack of faith, Jesus responds immediately when the disciples call on Him. Here they are, trying to deal with a heavy storm all by themselves and panicking, when all the while all they had to do was call on God, and He would answer.
And again, He rebukes their faith, but what is it exactly that He is questioning in it? He asks them why they are afraid. He is simply asking that they trust in Him, that they believe in His power and His love and His faithfulness. If you are close to God, if you call on Him, if you remain with Him, then what have you to fear, even in the midst of the storm?
I am those disciples – I panic in the midst of the storm and try to deal with it by myself. I try to fix it all on my own and rely on my own poor strength. I get scared and angry and frustrated. I worry. Endlessly.
And then, late as always, I finally call on God and He answers. And He gently asks why I didn’t trust Him earlier, why I couldn’t let go, why I didn’t believe that He would respond.
But He calms the storm anyway. He doesn’t say that the storms won’t ever return, but He calms them, often first and foremost by calming me.
If you are in the middle of a storm in your life, do you trust that God is right there with you? Do you believe that He will answer if you call? Do you have faith that He will be there for you?
Call on Him. Enjoy the “dead calm” that follows. He won’t let you down.