Summary: If you’re going through a storm in your life (and you will eventually), let God drive.
God Called Shotgun?
On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” Now, this statement is very important. He said, “we’re going to the other side” Think about that statement. If He says the other side, that’s where your going if He’s in your boat! He didn’t intend to take them to the middle to drown!
Of course, this went right over the disciple’s heads. If they would have remembered this during the storm they might not have been so scared. Fear can happen to any of us, a phone call, an accident, a sickness, and before you know it your right in the middle of the storm.
So Jesus and the disciples set out to cross the Sea of Galilee in one boat, with several others following. The Sea of Galilee is bad for storms. The Sea of Galilee (really just a large lake), is below sea level, with mountains rising to the east. And in the west, there are narrow corridors, which the wind can roar down, causing 6-12 ft. waves.
And as they get part way across the lake, "A great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped.” Now, remember, some of these guys made their living on this sea as fishermen. They were used to storms and their boats being rocked by waves, so this must have been a major storm! And they’re freaking out! We’re gonna drown! We’re gonna die! I’ll never see my family again!
Then look at the reaction of Jesus in v. 38 "But he was in the stern, asleep on a cushion." One thing this shows me is the humanity of Jesus. He got tired. After a full day of ministering, teaching and preaching, He was exhausted. He lays down and takes a nap. This shows me that Jesus can identify with your fatigue.
Another thing this passage shows me is that Jesus was with them in the boat and it still stormed. Being a Christian and having Jesus walk beside you doesn’t make you immune to experiencing storms in your life.
So this huge storm happens. They’re trying to hang on, bail out water, sneaking glances over at Jesus waiting for him to wake up and tell them what to do. He is their leader you know. But He’s tired, man. He just sleeping through all of this.
This shows us that even with Jesus in the boat, we still face storms and we’re not always delivered instantly when the storm comes. You see, storms help us grow in our faith. How many times has God ever failed you? I can tell you that He has NEVER failed you.
The disciples have been with Jesus for a while now. They should have known when Jesus said, “We’re going to the other side”, they were going to the other side, storm or no storm. Sure they may have to work a little bit, bail some water, but they were going to the other side!
But those disciples are just like us today. They panicked and woke Jesus up saying, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” Did you notice the irony of this verse? This is the only time in the Bible that Jesus slept and the disciples woke him up! Right, like Jesus was gonna drown!
How many of you think that Jesus knew there would be a storm before they got to the other side? Of course He did! He says, “You guys handle our getting to the other side. I’m gonna catch some zzz’s” He knew all about the storm.
Nothing ever surprises God. “God, I’m in financial trouble!” He knows. “God, I’m having health problems!” He knows. Nothing ever surprises Him. He knew that storm was coming.
Are you going through some kind of storm? What’s rocking your boat? What’s flooding your ship? Is it a strained relationship? Is it a financial difficulty? Is it a health problem? Is it a secret storm? Something on the inside? Guilt? Grief? Anger? Bitterness? Jealousy? Worry? Maybe you feel like you’re just a little toy boat out there in a big ocean and you’re getting bashed back and forth every day. And you’re thinking, “I’m going under! I’m not going to make it!”
The Bible says three things about the storms of life that I want to make sure you understand.
1. Storms in life are inevitable. They will happen. You can’t avoid them. If you’re not in a storm right now, just wait, you will be. They’re a part of life. In James 1:2 it says, "When you face trials..." It does not say “If you face trials.” Jesus said in John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Nobody goes through life sailing easy from the cradle to the grave.