Today’s passage has me laughing every time I read it:
That day, at evening, Jesus said to his followers, “Come with me across the lake.” So they left the crowd behind and went with Jesus in the boat he was already in. There were also other boats that went with them. A very bad wind came up on the lake. The waves were coming over the sides and into the boat, and it was almost full of water. Jesus was inside the boat, sleeping with his head on a pillow. (Mark 4:35-38)
I can’t even begin to imagine how pissed I’d be if I’d followed Jesus onto that boat, leaving the safe shore and crowds behind, and rowing straight into a storm while he slept comfortably on a pillow down below.
But then again, maybe not. Because isn’t that what we’re supposed to do as Christians? Leave the status quo and comfort of the known behind and follow Jesus into the unknown? Trusting that no matter what happens, He’s got our backs?
And then we find him ‘asleep’.
Suddenly, we are in the midst of a storm and afraid because we never experredit! lol. We never expected that while walking with God we’d have to face storms in our lives. And like the disciples we panic and we think God is asleep. Like the disciples, we question if he even cares. Because if God was awake and actually watching out for us, then everything should be rainbows and sunshine right?
We have been brainwashed into thinking that a life with God is an easy life. That, if you say you believe in God, you should be wealthy and successful. But God doesn’t promise us storm-free lives anywhere in His word. He doesn’t say you won’t be scared when storms come your way. We find out that, what we thought would be a smooth sailing walk with Jesus is actually a rough, narrow and, a lot of times, uncomfortable road. It turns out that this walk is not all flowers and candy, or with a Santa Claus-like Father who gives us everything we ask for so long as we stay on the ‘Nice’ side of His list.
But expecting that you will face storms doesn’t make them any easier. Knowing life will not always go as plan doesn’t ensure you’re not afraid when it doesn’t.
So what does?
[Jesus] said to his followers, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?
Faith. Faith casts out fear.
And I know we wonder all the time, how do I get more faith? Well, you can start by asking. I remember when I was younger, I could NEVER get my dad to buy me pizza. Never ever ever. He was not the let’s go out for ice cream type. Given, back then, pizza was more of a ‘luxury’ in Ghana, and we weren’t the wealthiest family on the block, so I understood his reluctance to spend on what he found to be dumb junk food. But I was an American kid, and I missed my pizza! Around this time, I had just joined a pre-youth group and started my personal Christian journey, and didn’t have much faith in what God could do. But I was really craving pizza, so I decided to say a little prayer and ask my dad- and he said yes!
Now, this may seem like such a tiny little thing (not so much if you know my dad, because I love him, but boy can he be chisel sometimes! lol), but it’s an apt illustration of the way in which God builds our faith- He grants us the little things, so we can trust Him when the big storms come.
So I want to encourage you- and myself- to be bold in asking God for things. Even the mundane things we don’t think God cares about- a healthy relationship, longer nails, a new pair of shoes, a cramp-free period lol. I’m not saying every single one of them will be answered, but you’ll be surprised what He’ll deliver on now, so you can trust in Him later when everything isn’t going peachy.
Tomorrow is the last day of this series, and it’s going to be a personally tough one, because I’ll be sharing a testimony along with it! I’m going to take a look at one of the hardest and darkest storms Jesus ever encountered in His time on earth- in Gethsemane. I think this one is going to be really good 🙂