Sound Asleep

July 17, 2019
by Cassandra Wessel

Matthew 8:23-24 – Then [Jesus] got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. (NIV)

Many of Jesus' disciples had been professional fishermen before Jesus called them. As such, they knew the weather, boats, sea, and seasons. Not much fazed the tough, seasoned, veteran sailors until …

One long day, Jesus finished ministering to the needy masses. Now, dead on His feet, He needed a real rest. What would be better than sailing across the Sea of Galilee in cool breezes?

No disciple questioned this decision, even though as professional fishermen, they must have known about the afternoon wind shift. So, Jesus stepped into a single-masted, wooden fishing vessel built to hold crew plus catch. The vessel, likely Peter's own, would have been large enough to hold Jesus, eleven burly men, and young John.

Early in the crossing, Jesus might have stripped off His robe the way fishermen did. Resting His head on His rolled-up cloak, Jesus rested in cooling breezes flowing from surrounding cliffs. He fell fast asleep. Rest combined with sunshine refreshed. Perhaps while He slept, burly Peter took the rudder while Andrew and James unfurled the sails to catch the wind. Maybe John belayed the ropes.

Doubtless, Jesus' complete trust in His heavenly Father insured that nothing would interrupt His rest.

    Nothing woke the Lord,
    no furious satanic wind
    howling precipitously
    from the dizzying heights,
    whipping evil green waters
    to an ugly frenzy
    of frothing whitecaps
    forecasting destruction.

Nothing fazed Jesus. In an all-hands-on-deck situation, exhausted Jesus slept soundly!

Not so the disciples. They battled the sudden storm with all their might. Peter wrestled the ship's rudder while other disciples furled the sail and bailed for all they were worth; a titanic effort to avoid plummeting to the bottom. Thwarted by waves over-washing the deck, hope plummeted into the depths of the sea where the storm threatened to send them all, ensuring that the Saviour of humanity would never see resurrection Sunday.

Satan and his minions rejoiced.

Scripture doesn't tell us who shook Jesus awake with the outburst, "Lord, save us! We're going to drown!" (v.25) Given this horrific situation, they knew that they'd lost the battle with the raging sea.

What is phenomenal is that they turned to Jesus, a carpenter turned rabbi, to save them! He wasn't a seasoned fisherman, yet, they woke Him to help. Did they expect Him to take a turn bailing?

Jesus said, "You of little faith, why are you so afraid?" (v.26) Then, instead of bailing, He opted for divine intervention.

When all seemed lost, Jesus "got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm." (v.26)

Jesus brought calm.

When we ask with minnow-sized faith, Jesus brings calm. He rebukes turmoil, restores peace of mind, and strengthens our hearts.

The same way the disciples were amazed, so are we. Just as they asked, "What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!" (v.27) even so do we!

When we wonder how our mealy-mouthed requests could possibly matter, Jesus rises to the task, rebukes discord, and restores calm. So, let's stop focusing on what's wrong and instead focus on what Jesus can do! Let's ask Jesus for help. It's what He does best. He saves the day!

Prayer: Lord God, we come asking You to calm the storms in our lives and to give us the strength and fortitude to stand fast. We'll give You the praise, in Jesus' name. Amen.

About the author:

Cassandra Wessel <casswessel@ymail.com>
Tionesta, Pennsylvania, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thank you, Sandy.
    Blessings.


    Thank you, Cassandra for an outstanding devotional today.


    Cass, one of my grandson’s favorite sayings is “save the day.” Indeed, Jesus does.


    Thank you, Cassandra, for this interesting view of the storm on the Galilee and the challenge you gave.


    How well taken is your devotional, Cassandra. Words for all of life’s stormy seas.
    Thank you
    (Texas)


    Hi Cassandra!
    So good to see another devotional from you and such an excellent one at that! God bless you and thank you for writing.


    What a beautiful example of descriptive writing!
    You painted a picture with words. Congratulations, Cassandra.
    The familiar story took on a new meaning.
    Shalom.


    Hi, I so enjoyed this devotional. It made me think about such a familiar story in a new way – always good! This encourages me in the storms of life that are currently upon me, to focus on Jesus instead of the problems, so thank you!
    Thanks.


    Hi Cassandra,
    Good devotional this morning, written so that we can see what possibly happened aboard the ship, very descriptive, a verbal picture! The way I myself like to describe things as well.
    Thank you for writing.


    Oh Cassandra
    What a divinely inspired devotional you have written.
    Thanks for the reminder that Jesus can help.
    I found your words uplifting and encouraging!
    Thanks so much.


    Dear Cassandra,
    Thank you for this devotional writing and great reminder that in the storms of life, it is Jesus who can bring calm and resolution to our troubles and He is ever ready to help us.
    Blessings,
    (B.C.)


    Cassandra,
    I just loved your narration – you really pulled me into this biblical passage with your use of imagery and emotions! This is such a lovely lesson that you shared with us today. It is a much-needed reminder for me to stop telling God how big my problems are, but rather, to tell my problems how big God is!
    Blessings.


    Hello
    This is a great devotional and how it makes me look forward to the time that I will completely be like Christ and not let life frazzle me at times.
    It is comforting to know that we do not go through anything alone which gives me encouragement and strength when life throws a curveball.
    Thanks again.
    God bless.


    Amen Cass!
    Thanks for a good word.


    Beautifully written.
    It brought the whole incident and its meaning to life.
    Thank you.


    Hi Casandra. Love the way you brought the story to life! I visited the holy land last year and such stories always send me back!
    Blessings.

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