O God, now that the day is done, prepare me to wake up tomorrow and say, “This is another of God’s days, I will rejoice and be glad in it.” As I enter this night, I will fall asleep knowing that you have called me to eternal life, so I have nothing to fear. Renew and cleanse my heart, so I may be ready for the challenges of a new day. In the matchless name of Jesus I pray. Amen.
Daily Archives: July 8, 2021
Matthew 8:23-27 (NRSV)
Jesus Stills the Storm
23 And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. 24 A windstorm arose on the sea, so great that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. 25 And they went and woke him up, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!” 26 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. 27 They were amazed, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him?”
“Lord, save us!” (Matthew 8:25).
Do you know someone who can sleep through anything? Napoleon slept while battles raged around him. One young boy slept through the sinking of the Titanic. Anther man slept through a plane crash, waking up to find himself battered but alive in the woods. In today’s Gospel reading, we have the most famous example of all: Jesus sleeps while a storm crashes into his boat and his apostles cry out in fear. We know that Jesus’ days were very long, so he was probably extremely tired. But there’s certainly more to it than that.
This is the only gospel account we have of Jesus asleep. Surely Matthew is including it to make a point: God isn’t worried about the things that worry us. Let me explain. Jesus wasn’t bothered by the violent storm; in fact, he might have missed the whole thing had the disciples not woke him up! And his reaction to being awakened is very instructive. He is calm, but he mildly rebukes the apostles because he wants them to understand that they can remain calm as well, even in trying situations, if they put their trust in him.
There may be times in our lives when we cry out to God and ask, “Lord, don’t you care what’s happening?” What we perceive as his absence isn’t that at all, however. He is aware of every situation in our lives – of the daily waves of stress that beat against us and the big breakers as well, those events that seem like they’re going to capsize us. He won’t necessarily calm all those storms for us as he did for the disciples, but he can calm our troubled, anxious hearts.
What God seems to honor the most is when we pray with trust and faith, letting go of the fear and anxiety in our hearts. We can thank him too, believing that he has the situation in hand and will work it out for our good (Romans 8:28). That little prayer may not seem like much if you are an action-minded person. But in return, he offers you “the peace…that surpasses all understanding” (Philippians 4:7). Now, that’s a pretty good trade!
Lord, I put everything in your hands today. There is nothing that can disturb my peace when I rest in your peace. Amen.