Read:Deuteronomy 11:1-12:32, Luke 8:22-39, Psalm 70:1-5, Proverbs 12:4
As they sailed across, Jesus settled down for a nap. But soon a fierce storm came down on the lake.
The boat was filling with water, and they were in real danger.
The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!”
When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and the raging waves.
Suddenly the storm stopped and all was calm. Then he asked them,“Where is your faith?”
The disciples were terrified and amazed. “Who is this man?” they asked each other.
“When he gives a command, even the wind and waves obey him!”
Relate: I used to have five different alarms that would go off every morning. You might think I am joking, but it is true. The first one was on my phone. It was the sound of water falling down a brook with harp music or some such nonsense playing in the background. It starts up very quietly and gradually picks up volume, but never got all that loud. Just when that alarm was timing out, my IPad would start beeping. That is loud and it is the traditional alarm beep that clocks have been using for as long as they have been running on electricity. It also doesn’t shut off. It just rings and rings and rings. Many mornings I would do my best to ignore it but it was just not possible. That is because six minutes after it has begun the Ipad seamlessly switched over to the third alarm. This one was dual-pitched and slightly faster. It was also far more annoying. Usually, this alarm will finally drag me from my bed and with mutterings and mumblings no Christian should be using. Then I would head into the other room to shut it off and begin my day. Yes, all of my alarms would be in another room so I would have to actually get out of bed to turn them off.
All that took place between 5:05 and 5:15ish in the morning. My goal was to spend a certain amount of time in prayer, reading, and memorization before I did anything else. A couple times a week those first three alarms were not enough and about ten after seven my phone began blasting out alarm number four. If you jump to 1:47 in the music below, you can hear what my phone begins blaring out as loud as it can every morning at 7:08AM. This is the point of no return. When this alarm goes off I must get out of bed. I will still have adequate time for shortened prayer, to get ready, get my two cups of coffee, and make it to school on time.
The problem is, sometimes (often) during that shortened prayer time, I would still end up drifting back to sleep. So at 7:55AM the Imperial March makes an encore. Now, no matter where I was and what I was doing, I needed to grab my stuff, throw on my shoes, and head out the door.
I say all this to illustrate the point that I am not a morning person. I am also an incredibly heavy sleeper. By the grace of God, I have managed to cut my number of alarms nearly in half. It also is not nearly the struggle it used to be. But I have learned that even someone who is most definitely not wired for mornings still needs those mornings. Certain things must take priority at the beginning of any spiritually healthy day. It is just so hard. I have been doing my best to maintain this discipline for almost thirty years now, and still, it is just so hard.
React: When I read this text in Luke, I feel for Jesus. I have no pity for the disciples. Only Jesus. The way I read it, the poor guy is just exhausted. He asks the disciples to put out to sea and as soon as the oars hit the water He goes below to get some shut-eye. A storm starts picking up. The rocking boat doesn’t wake Him. Water sloshing around the bottom of the boat doesn’t wake Him. The disciples’ ever louder panicked voices don’t wake Him. Finally one of the disciples works up the courage to give poor Jesus a good shaking. Even this only half pulls Him out of hibernation. He looks out over the water and mumbles, “Stop it already, I’m tired.” Then He turns to His disciples. Jesus is not happy. He snaps, “Seriously guys? Where’s your faith.” Jesus then turns back around and trudges back below deck to finish His nap. The disciples just stand there looking at each other. “Did that really just happen? Wow, who is this guy?”
This is how I read this famous story. I might be wrong. I probably am wrong. But it is just how I see it. We often like to share how Jesus being fully human means He knows and can empathize with our deepest struggles. We often say this when talking about a major sickness or spiritual temptation, but to me, it also means Jesus knows our small daily struggles that make up the stuff of life. After all, being fully human means He wasn’t a morning person either. Cheerfulness and abundant energy before about 10AM just is not human. He didn’t need to be bouncing with anticipation to be brimming with power. Even half asleep He could do the stuff of dreams. With eyes half shut, He still performed a waking miracle. So He knows how me, just getting out of bed in the morning, is a waking miracle.
I am so thankful that You have come and walked in the flesh among us. I am so grateful You had stuffy noses, gas problems, stubbed toes, and splinters. You know and can empathize with the big struggles that can make or break a life but also with the little struggles that season each and every one of my days. You know how often I fail to do right in so many of these small battles but still You love me. I am thankful that those words, “Peace, be still” still ring with power in every area of my life today.
7 thoughts on “Waking Miracle”
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And THAT is why you are one of my favourite Christian writers! Blessings BJ!
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I’m not a morning person either, but unfortunately I am not as heavy a sleeper as you. I smiled at your take on “Peace, be still.” Jesus valued down time, for prayer and also for rest after taxing experiences. Thank you. I’m glad you’re back.
Thank you, it is good to be back. As my degree nears completion, and as my time in Turkey draws to a close, I find that I have both more time and less need to maintain a low profile. If they kick me out of the country now, it just means I can start my missionary work in the Philippines a couple months early.
True that Jesus had natural human issues to contend with, especially fatigue seeing that people were constantly demanding his time and energy. There was really something about him. However, the Jesus I love always answered as God His Father would answer. That’s why he could say, “I and my Father are one.” God does not snap at people. That’s the God I serve – the one who will answer a desperate need even when he is beyond exhausted. The one who, even when on the cross and in intense pain from being whipped, pummeled and crowned with thorns, will ask God on behalf of the very people who did that, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” That is just beyond amazing.
This gives me new insight on what it meant that Jesus was fully human and fully God. Very interesting post! However, I am a morning person and definitely not a night person. God made us all uniquely different. Blessings!