Due to its geographical location 700 feet below sea level and surrounded by mountains, the Sea of Galilee is prone to sudden and severe storms. The disciples were overcome with fear on this particular occasion while Jesus was fast asleep in their small boat. As the sea tossed and the waves rolled over the sides of the vessel, the disciples realized that the small boat was not sufficient to withstand the big storm they were facing. In a state of worry and panic, they finally awakened Jesus; he quickly calmed the storm and returned peace to the surrounding sea. The disciples were amazed that Jesus could even control the wind and the waves (Mt 8:27). They had seen him perform many miracles, but “this” power amazed them. They said to each other “Who is this?” They ate with him, travelled with him, worked with him, served with him, and yet did not comprehend who he was. Jesus was disappointed that their faith was so small in the face of the storm.
Mt 6:30, 8:23-27; Phil 4:6-7; Jn 14:27; 1 Ch 29:11; 1 Pet 5:7
When He got into the boat, His disciples followed Him. And suddenly a violent storm arose on the sea, so that the boat was being covered by the waves; but Jesus was sleeping. 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?” (Mt 6:23-26)
Just as a storm can threaten a boat at sea, the storms of life can arise quickly and swamp our lives. Worry is the human reaction to storms that toss and overtake us. We look at the situation and are gripped by fear of new storms on the horizon. We are overcome by the waves of circumstance rolling over us and keeping us off balance, and we feel that our resources are insufficient for the situations we face. We feel alone and afraid. Jesus is waiting to respond to the storms in your life; you need only ask. Those things that we fear most are the things that we desperately try to control and have not given over to God. Philippians 4:6 tells us not to worry about anything, but to pray and ask God for help. This is the instruction guide to peace in the storm. It also says to thank Him for all He’s done. These steps will move you away from worry and toward peace and confidence in Christ. It won’t happen overnight, it is a process, but it is possible.
Why do you think the disciples waited to awaken Jesus? Why do we sometimes wait to call on God for help in our troubled times? Do you ever feel that Jesus is asleep and unconcerned about what’s going on in your life? Why or why not? What fear strikes worry in your heart? What do you need to do to move toward peace regarding this fear? Do you really know who is in the boat with you? How can you thank God in the storm?
Write a list of things you fear/things you worry about. Beside each fear, write what you would do if this fear became a reality. Consider how you would respond and how you should respond.
Prayer – (taken from Worship You Forever by Lincoln Brewster)
You are God, you are life, I will worship you forever. You knew me before I took my first breath and you know the day that I will breathe the last. You’re the Alpha, Omega, beginning and end, forever to you I’ll sing. Father, take control of every area of my life. Calm my fears through the power of your presence as I move toward peace and rest in you! In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.