As they sailed across, Jesus settled down for a nap. But soon a fierce storm came down on the lake. The boat was filling with water, and they were in real danger. The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!” When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and the raging waves. Suddenly the storm stopped and all was calm. Then he asked them, “Where is your faith?” The disciples were terrified and amazed. “Who is this man?” they asked each other. “When he gives a command, even the wind and waves obey him!”
This is one of my favorite passages in the Gospels. The disciples experienced an entire new dimension of Jesus’ power that left them awestruck. In that moment, when the winds ceased and the waves became placid, these learners learned even more about the power and provision of the Son of Man.
Can you imagine yourself in their place? They had seen Jesus perform numerous miracles. The disciples witnessed the Lord’s willingness to heal a man with an advanced case of leprosy. They were there when Jesus raised a widow’s son at a funeral procession in the village of Nain. They heard the authority of His teaching and watched as thousands were enraptured with His lessons. They saw the power of his cognitive faculties as he debated with the religious leaders of the day. However, they encountered a different manifestation of His power (ascendancy over nature) on that lake and their fear turned to a wondrous confidence.
We, like the disciples, can all too often have a similar response and fall prey to fear when distressing circumstances arise in our lives. God may have moved in monumental ways; we may have seen His power on display in numerous experiences in our lives, but when a daunting new challenge lies in front of us we can find ourselves quick to utter the same cry as the disciples, “we’re going to drown!”
In July of last year, God made it clear that our time in Jacksonville was coming to a close. We were terrified. Jacksonville was all Tracy ever knew. She had lived on one street, Hodges Boulevard, for all 37 years of her life. I’ve resided in several cities and states, so the prospect of living in a different place wasn’t that intimidating. Nonetheless, I was concerned about employment and providing for my family. When you have little human beings that look like you, look up to you, and look to you to care for them, it changes you as a man.
I had experienced God’s provision in my life before – especially when it came to transitioning to a new job – but I was unfamiliar with the feeling of knowing that the grace had run out in my current job while having a family to provide for. It was a difficult time, but God took care of us! We experienced a miracle with finding Hope Community Church just three weeks after God made it clear that it was time for us to leave Jacksonville.
I remember being in awe of God’s provision. Like the disciples, I was at first terrified; afraid that I was going to drown in the magnitude of my problem. But when God heard our cry and moved on our behalf, I experienced His power in a whole new way. It built our faith. It gave us a new vantage point of God’s goodness. We became even more confident that God was going to take care of our family.
I want to encourage you to be faithful instead of fearful. Trust in His provision and compassion. Believe that He hears your cries. When Jesus finished rebuking the winds and the waves He looked over to the disciples and said to them, “Where is your faith?” Jesus is asking the same question today. If you’re going through a difficult time in your life understand that it is an opportunity for you to experience a new manifestation of God’s power. It’s a gift that enables you to know God in a more intimate way.
I’m Harold Dorrell Briscoe. Thanks for reading.