“I’m Swamped, And He’s Sleeping”

“A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, ‘Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” – Mark 4:37-38

Danger often rises suddenly. It would be nice if we could ride out our storms in insulated, watertight boats, but we sail life’s seas in fragile vessels. The storm in this passage is not symbolic, but real – representing all the storms in life.

You see, storms can be furious and come up suddenly when you least expect them. That day, the storm seemed to come out of nowhere, and the disciples were alarmed. The storm was so fierce the waves broke over the ship to the point it was nearly swamped.

“Swamped” is how we feel when storms rise in our lives. The Gospel term here is “nearly swamped.” The adverb, “nearly,” tells the disciples, and us, that no matter the peril, we are never completely swamped. While wind and waves rage around us, it is easy to assume we have been totally overcome. But, the presence of the One with us is our protection in the midst of any storm.

The disciples initially missed the truth. They assumed Christ’s presence on board did not make a difference in their nearly swamped boat. Our feelings often betray us. We forget that we are not alone, and that He has promised, “I will never leave you.” Even when we acknowledge the Savior’s presence, so often it appears He is asleep in our storm.

In the Gospel story, He was asleep on a cushion or pillow. But, the disciples reached a false conclusion. They assumed since Jesus was sleeping He did not care if they drowned. So, they woke Him up. I doubt if they expected a miracle. Perhaps, they wanted one more hand to help them bail water.

Often, we do the same thing. A fierce wind blows into our lives. We feel overwhelmed. Despite our best efforts, things only get worse. Our frail attempts at stability and safety gain us nothing, and we soon discover we are losing the battle.

We go to the Lord in prayer. We find Him “sleeping.” We won’t sense an answer. How can He remain silent when we are in so much trouble? Out first inclination is to jump to the conclusion, “Lord, you don’t care!”

So, we offer our own solutions to Him: “Grab a bucket and help me bail water.” We do not see it at the time, but His inaction in the present moment will provide a superior solution than what we proposed. It may take time to see it.

It is better for us to have the Savior sleeping in our boat than for us to sail along without Him. His presence in the storm will ultimately make all the difference! Realize that He is always there, and He does care. Even when He may be silent, He is never absent. Until then, let us continue…

Changing Lives for Eternity!

With Love,

Pastor Terry & Tina Richardson