And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him, saying, "Save us, Lord; we are perishing." And he said to them, "Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?" Matthew 8:23-26
Why didn't somebody tell me earlier in my life that I can't fix everything? I thought that with due diligence, everything can get resolved. If there were things up ahead that concerned me, I could just make a plan to solve them. In time, I could have it all figured out and then set the automatic "good life" pilot and let it take over.
It's only more recently that I have grasped that life will never be "together" this side of eternity. It's hard to accept sometimes that perfect is only for heaven.
There will always be people problems. There will always be financial challenges. There will always be a home burden, or a crisis of some kind. Every day I live in this world, there will always be some uncertainty ringing my doorbell.
So much for my assumption that if you just worked hard enough, eventually everything would be sorted out, categorized, and put neatly on the shelf. I have never gotten to that day and what's more, I now know it's never coming.
In Matthew 8:23-24, we land in Jesus' life on a day that perfectly illustrates the imperfections of human existence. "When he got into the boat, His disciplines followed him. And behold, there arose a great storm." In the original language, the two words great storm can be translated to mega and seismic. As in, And behold, there arose a mega seismic on the sea, so that the boat was consumed by the waves. It's worth remembering that this description comes from Matthew, one of the disciples who wasn't a fisherman. He had the terrified layman's perspective on this storm!
I have a few questions about that whole scene:
1. Did Jesus not check the Weather Channel? He totally knew that storm was coming yet He led them right into it. Get in the boat, boys. He knowingly took them into harm's way.
2. Could Jesus have stopped the storm before it started? Sure He could have but He let the storm come.
3. So is it true to say that He wanted the storm? I think we could surmise that He was actually looking forward to how He was going to use the storm in the disciples' lives.
Let's get our theology straight. Sometimes Jesus disguises exciting opportunities for personal growth as difficult circumstances. We would choose to avoid trials at all costs, but Jesus sees the bigger picture. -James MacDonald