In third grade, my mom signed Scott and I up for sailing lessons at the South Lake, (not to be confused with the North Lake; the other fake body of water about a mile from our house). I think third grade was probably the age I had just started in on the Babysitter’s Club series and was barrelling through a book each week, costing my parents a fortune and causing concern that I wasn’t hanging out with other children my age. (Further proof of my developing non-social tendencies: I saved my allowance money to purchase a denim bean bag chair so that I’d never have to leave my room.)
I can picture my mom and dad, whispering over hushed tones after we’d gone to bed, deciding it would be best for me to get some fresh air that summer. Soon, I found myself in Sailing 101, fearing for my life on the high seas. Naturally, Scott kicked my butt in the lessons just as he did in every other sport during my childhood. One afternoon, as the wind really kicked up, I found myself flying out of the boat, crying and panicked, swearing I’d never return. I never passed the class. I did, however, finish (and own) all 131 Babysitter’s Club books. (And yes, I did just Google “Babysitters Club” and download a PDF of all the books titles to reminisce.)
Anyway, back on track: I’ve since had two other very scary moments on boats. Once, while visiting Jenny’s family in Alaska, all of us girls got stranded out on the lake when the boat’s motor died. (When Jenny and Katie went into shore to find help, I thought they might die from a Grizzly bear attack. This did not happen and we all survived. It was scary though. I promise.) Then, last summer, Jonathan and I found ourselves out kayaking in Hawaii, with no signs of wind, only to have gusts suddenly kick up unexpectedly. As we fought our way back to shore, me crying and him yelling, “We’re GOING TO MAKE IT! DON’T GIVE UP!”… I literally thought it might be the end.
So, when our pastor talked about Luke 8 this Sunday at church, I was right there with him, hanging on each word. Luke 8 is when Jesus and the disciples are out on the lake and he falls asleep. A storm kicks up out of nowhere and so the disciples freak out and wake him. He asks, “Where is your faith?” And then, with a simple rebuking, the wind stops.
What is your figurative storm? We all have them–whether it be at work, with family, or in school– and just like the disciples, we’re often out on the water really enjoying ourselves when the storm appears out of nowhere! Yet, the storm isn’t too big for Christ. In fact, there is no where else in the bible where it says, “Jesus slept.” Obviously, we know he slept during the course of his 33 years, yet it’s interesting it’s specifically mentioned in this passage.
During windy storms, I hate the feeling of not having control. I want control so badly sometimes that, as my pastor said, “We wait until the boat is filled with water, and the sail is ripped before we cry out.” And yet, as soon as the disciples cry out in desperation, he commands the storm to cease.
Sometimes, we cry out and God doesn’t answer right away. I don’t believe this is because he hasn’t “awaken” to our cries. When we yell out he’s already there in the boat with us. He’s riding the waves, and pulling the sail tight. One thing He isn’t doing is handing us the life jacket. He’s not prepared for us to go in. He’s keeping us safe and taking control. Because, if He has authority over wind and waves, surely He can conquer our everyday storms.