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“As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger. The disciples went and woke him, saying, ‘Master, Master, we’re going to drown!’ He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. ‘Where is your faith?’ he asked his disciples.” (Luke 8:23-25)
We often read of Jesus calming the storm with an emphasis on what we presume to be the disciples’ small faith or lack of faith. But recently while recalling the story, I placed the emphasis on Jesus’ first word in the question: “Where is your faith?”
The disciples were accomplished fishermen. Although storms frequently exploded on the lake, their experience could easily have given them the confidence that sailing safely to the other side was a “no brainer.” Maybe they were counting on the simple presence of Jesus to keep them safe. Was it possible that in their haste to leave they simply didn’t carefully and correctly raise the sails? What had they placed their faith in?
If Jesus asked us, “Where is your faith?” how would we answer? Do we depend on past experience to navigate difficulties? Perhaps we simply assume that because Jesus is “in the boat” with us, all will be well. Have we neglected to develop the disciplines of solitude, silence, deep study of the Word of God and honest prayer that help us more intimately know God and thus more quickly trust Him?
Storms will come. Perhaps it is before the storms that we should inventory not just how great is our faith but where it is placed.
Father in Heaven, Teach me the discipline of drawing near to You so that I’ll be ready when the storms come. I want my faith to be in You, not in my own experience, my resources or my connections. When my boat is shaken may I run to You first and foremost and not try to calm the seas on my own. Amen
Question: Do you find it easy to go to God when storms are raging in your life? Why or why not?