“And behold there arose a great tempest in the sea in so much that the ship was covered with the waves, but He was asleep” (Matt.8:24)
On a sunny afternoon in a coastal town that was known for its wide variety of fishes and its hardworking fishermen, a group of twelve men (mostly former fishermen and who were very used to life at sea), followed their Master as he entered the boat to crossover to the other side of town. They entered with great expectations as they wondered where exactly the Master was taking them to this time. They had come to realize that each day with the Master was always full of its excitement and surprises. ‘”You never know what to expect when you are with the Master” they said to one another. Over the years they have learnt not to ask Him questions, but to simply follow Him and let Him be in charge. They had heard Him preach with great power and authority about the Kingdom of God. They had also seen Him heal all manner of sicknesses even seemingly incurable ones. They had also seen demons bow before Him in total surrender and He drove them out of people.
As they launched out into the sea and started out on their journey, everything seemed fine. They had settled down to enjoy the cool breeze from the winds that were hissing around them. Suddenly, the heavens opened, and it began to rain. It seemed funny that the heavens would open up at this time of the year. ‘Well‘.. said one of them, …‘perhaps it will just be a few showers, am sure it is nothing to worry about’… he told his colleagues!’ Based on this remark from one of them who himself was a very experienced fisherman, a number of them decided to take a nap and enjoy the cool breeze and the light showers of rain at the upper deck of the boat. The others agreed to stay awake to watch the weather.
However, the rains began to get heavier and heavier. The heavens opened wider and poured out water with great force that it seemed as if a heavenly water dam had been opened so wide that it could not hold back its waters. At the same time, the sea began to roar as it was forced to swallow up the waters that were pouring down from the heavens. The waters became too much for it to handle, and its waves began to rise and rise in an attempt to tell the sky it had enough! What seemed to be like a commotion and an earthquake rose up from within the sea and this began to shake and rock the boat from one side to another. The waves also rushed into the boat which was now about to sink. The men that had tried to sleep, were cut short and immediately woke up with great fear! At this time, they all began to struggle in an attempt to get water out of the boat so as to keep afloat. They began to tremble, cry, pant and pray. Could this be the end for us? Should they begin to say their last prayers? They wondered within themselves. Had the Master not assured us that they were going on to the other side? How could this great storm and tempest have risen up against us even with the Master in the boat with us? “…By the way…” asked one of them. “Where is the Master?”
“It appears He is in the lower part of the boat!” said the most experienced fisherman amongst them. “Doing what?”… asked another. “Does He not know that a terrible storm has risen up against us all? Does He not care that we might die in this storm?”… noted another. “Guys, you will not believe this”.. said one of them that had gone down to the bottom of the boat to look for the Master. “The Master is sleeping!…“ Sleeping?! asked the oldest of them all! How could He be sleeping at such a serious and terrifying moment as this?“ At this point, the Master had woken up and had come up to the top part of the boat. His face glowing as someone that had a very good nap. “Any problem guys?” He asked. “Master” said the youngest of them all, “Do you not care about us? How could you be sleeping at a time like this? Can you not see the raging storm and the heavy rains and the boisterous wind? Safe of us Lord for we are about to sink.!’ They all echoed at the same time.
The moment they spoke these words, their Master chastised them for their unbelief and lack of faith. He then rebuked the winds and the sea with the words “…Peace be still!” and immediately, there was a great calm. They all looked at one another with great amazement and astonishment. ‘What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?” They said to themselves. They had seen and known Him before now as the healer, but now they saw Him as one who had powers over the forces of nature. Their faith was strengthen and encouraged as they came to learn that the one who had called them unto Himself was always in control and in charge of any situation (whether positive or negative) that comes their way. They now saw that the experience was necessary for them so that they could learn about another aspect of the One who had called them unto Himself. They saw that God uses our challenges to reveal another aspect of His divinity. They learnt that no matter what would ever come their way in life, the Master was always in charge.
Therefore dear reader, be encouraged that whether or not the storms, winds and trials of life come against you, Jesus- the calmer of the storms is in charge and in absolute control. Bear in mind that the storms and boisterous winds rose against the boat despite the fact that Jesus was in it. Understand that the presence of challenges in your life does not mean God is absent or has given control of your life to the devil. He is actually in it with you and is working out a beautiful plan and solution that will give you joy and glorify His holy name. In this new year, as you face one challenge or the other, do what Jesus did….Go to sleep, knowing that faithful is He that has called you, and He will surely do it.
God bless you, and have a great year ahead!