One of the most famous stories of the Gospels is when Jesus calms the storm.
“Late that day he said to them, “Let’s go across to the other side.” They took him in the boat as he was. A huge storm came up. Waves poured into the boat, threatening to sink it. And Jesus was in the stern, head on a pillow, sleeping! They roused him, saying, “Teacher, is it nothing to you that we’re going down?”
Awake now, he told the wind to pipe down and said to the sea, “Quiet! Settle down!” The wind ran out of breath; the sea became smooth as glass. Jesus reprimanded the disciples: “Why are you such cowards? Don’t you have any faith at all?”
After reading that I could not stop asking myself why did Jesus ask them: Don’t you have any faith at all?
Did Jesus really expect that they would calm the storm themselves? Did he really think that this bunch of fishers, that had never seen something as supernatural as that, would simply think to themselves: “You know what? Since it is being tough to navigate through this storm: Storm, quiet! Settle down!”
While meditating on this text earlier this week, I came to the conclusion that Jesus never asked them to do something superhuman. I don’t think he was expecting them to interfere the natural order of the storm, neither that they would mix some faith with clairvoyance and transform their boat into a motorboat so they could run faster to the shore.
He had spent months with them telling that they would make good things together, big things! They knew he was the Messiah and that their story together was not even close to an end yet. Given this scenario, I can understand his frustration when they just started screaming: “Teacher, is it nothing to you that we’re going down”
He expected them to face the storm. That they would keep using their years of sailing knowledge to stand up against the ocean. You know? Simple things like getting a bucket and start moving water out of the boat, set the boat sail in the proper position, tie their bodies to the boat so they are not thrown away.
My takeaway from this text is that does not matter the size of the storm, your faith in Him and his promises has to be bigger than your fear of death. And it is mystic, it is supernatural, it is against the odds, it is the unspeakable trust in his faithfulness. As Paul wrote to the Phillipians: “There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.”
If there is something for us to hold close to our heart is the wise words of a talking fish:
“When life gets you down, you know what you gotta do? Just keep swimming, just keep swimming Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming What do we do? We swim!”