Whenever I am on an airplane and we encounter turbulence I always look up and try to gauge the flight attendant’s reaction. They always remain calm, but what they do next is often telling. If they keep serving drinks than it is probably no big deal. If they quickly put away the drink cart it might mean more rough air is coming. If they strap on a parachute… we are in trouble. I figure they do this all day every day, many of them in high heels, so they are a reliable judge of the severity of the situation.
In Mark’s gospel there is a story where the disciples would have been wise to approach the turbulence they were in with a similar line of thinking. One evening, in Mark 4, Jesus and the twelve got into a boat. He told them that they were going to cross to the other side. But halfway across the lake a great windstorm arose and the waves beat into the boat. The Bible tells us that this was so severe that the boat began to fill with water. Scary.
Now had they thought back they would have remembered that Jesus had told them they were going to cross over to the other side. He hadn’t said that they were all going to get into the boat and drown. Remember this the next time you get into a storm, Jesus’ command is His enablement. His promises never fail. Let’s give them a pass for not remembering His exact wording.
I think that the crucial thing they overlooked was the flight attendant concept. Had they looked at Jesus they would had noticed that He had gone into the stern of the boat and was asleep on a pillow. I love that. Here they were in a situation that was causing them to panic and to come unhinged. But Jesus wasn’t phased, He was entering the REM phase of the sleep cycle! Mistaking His calm for indifference, they go on to wake Him up and accuse Him of not caring that they are dying. Had they taken their cue from Him instead of trying to “backseat Messiah” Him they could have tucked themselves in and gotten the benefit of a nap as well.
Here is the point. God is not even remotely phased by the things that freak you out. He isn’t. Psalm 29:10 says that He SAT enthroned at the flood. The flood. As in the biggest storm that the world has ever seen. Yeah, He remained seated and composed throughout it all. He wasn’t pacing or frantic, bothered or nervous. Trust me when I tell you that whatever you are going through today isn’t getting Him to the edge of His seat. He is in control and has it completely under control.
It might seem like the whole thing is going to go under the water. The wind is so loud you can hardly hear anything else. It is dark and scary and cold. The other side seems so far away. But He is in your boat! Get yourself a snuggie.