Another guest post courtesy of none other than my friend Larry Norman who blogs here.
Trusting Jesus Even When He Seems To Sleep
The disciples once followed Jesus across the sea of Galilee. It had been a long day of teaching, all were shattered and they were headed off to get some peace and quiet. Then a storm arose. (Mark 4: 37) Even the experienced fishermen were scared of this storm for the boat was quickly filling with water (4: 37) and the disciples rushed to Jesus, could He help them?
No. In a wonderful display of His perfect humanity Jesus was sleeping. (4: 38). No year goes by unstained by troubles, toil and tears. What can comfort us? Our circumstances? No. The disciples’ circumstances were dire; ferocious waves, small boat with increasingly threatening amounts of the wet, blue stuff inside it, and Jesus asleep.
So they woke Him up, rebuking Him for His lack of care for them; “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing!?” Jesus woke up and with three words stilled the storm completely. Within a split second the waves and wind were still. Silence has never thundered so loud, as after Jesus finished speaking. (4: 39)
Jesus then rebukes the disciples for their lack of faith. (4: 40). Jesus would not have let them die. In a way that makes sleep walking fantastically mundane Jesus had been upholding the entire universe whilst He was sleeping, (Heb 1: 2-3.) Our natural eyes will never ever perceive correctly what Jesus is doing. We will never correctly be able to understand our circumstances; instead we will gaze in awe up at the waves filling our boat and throw hope overboard. This is why Paul wrote, “For we walk by faith and not by sight”, (2 Cor 5: 7)
Faith puts everything back where it should. Faith looks beyond the waves to Christ upon the throne. Faith knows first that Christ is on the throne having first been to the cross. There, too, all looked like evil had won. Yet Christ crushed is not the certainty of our condemnation but of our being crowned with Him. Faith looks at Christ crucified, risen, ascended and seated at the right hand of God and faith knows us to be united to our glorious King.
Having looked up to Christ, faith then looks down on the circumstances. Faith trusts God to do all things for the good of those who love Him, knowing full well that these “all things” include sword, famine, persecution, sin and even death, (Rom 8: 28-39). Faith does not falter when Christ, seen by sight, seems to be sleeping. For nothing is as it is seen.
Faith’s gaze does not remain on the waves, however. For having seen them to be under the rule of our good Father, faith returns its gaze to the One who neither slumbers or sleeps in His care of us, (Psalm 121: 4). Faith gazes on Jesus Christ, who reveals us the Father. Focused by the Spirit, faith in Christ turns fear into adoration; unlocking the treasure chest of Christian joy.