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.
Luke 8:24, NLT*
We know from the Gospels that Jesus rose early to pray and sometimes stayed up late praying. We can assume preaching, teaching and healing was exhausting. Yet this is His only recorded nap. I think He did it intentionally during this storm, as part of the day’s lesson for His disciples.
Not that they recognize it as a teaching moment—they’re panicking, shouting. Expecting to die.
After He calms the storm, Jesus asks, “Where is your faith?” And Luke says the disciples are “terrified and amazed” at what He has done. (Luke 8:25, NLT*)
I catch an undertone of, “Why were you freaking out? All you had to do was ask.” His question isn’t about blame, or about their lack of faith. It’s to show them faith applies even here.
By this point in their relationship, the disciples have heard Jesus’ authority when He taught. They’ve seen miracles: healings, demons cast out, a supernatural catch of fish. Even a raising from the dead.
But this new crisis seems so immediate—so personal—and they don’t think to ask Jesus for help.
Were they angry when they woke Him? I can imagine their mutterings: “How could He sleep at a time like this? How could He put us into this situation—didn’t He know it would happen?”
I’ve read this account many times, but today it speaks again: In new situations I need to not only remember what Jesus has done in the past, but remember His power. His presence. And ask for His help.
Also, if I’m dealing with something that’s in my area of expertise, I shouldn’t assume I need to handle it in my own strength and understanding. Remember when Jesus sent the fishermen out after a night of catching nothing—and nearly broke the nets with the haul of fish. (Luke 5:1-11)
God, You are a patient teacher, yet so many times we don’t learn. Open our hearts, minds and spirits to receive what You want us to know. Help us to remember what You’ve shown us in the past, and to be confident in Your presence and Your power, whatever new things come our way.
*New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.