Matthew 8:23-26, when Jesus calmed the waves
of the Sea of Galilee, He did so to show
mercy to those in the boat - even though
they had failed their test of faith.
The miracle of this story was not just that
Jesus calmed the sea, it was that Jesus was
asleep with raging waves bashing against the
boat to the point of almost sinking it.
He must have been tossed to and fro, hitting
the sides of the boat - soaked with the
winds howling and His hair snapping at His
face... soaked to the bone. But He
Yet those with Him… they couldn't sleep...
they saw the raging sea and wanted it to
stop. But that wasn't the Father's
plans - it was the will of the Father for
them to have faith. The storm was not
there to show the power Christ had over the
elements; it was there to show the power
Christ had over His human nature - and the
power that we can have over ours. The
miracle He performed was a side effect of
lack of faith. Yet again God had to
come to the rescue due to lack of faith!
He has a long history of showing us mercy...
and encouraging us that faith pleases Him.
When the apostles, fearful of the waves,
woke Him, Jesus rebuked them for lack of
faith... what kind of faith did He mean?
Were they to have faith to rebuke the
waves…not knowing if they had authority to
do such an unthinkable thing… or were they
to have faith in God by sleeping as Christ
was doing, or at least to sit in peace?
Had they had faith we would have been
blessed with a different story. The
greatest example for us would have been if
those who were in the boat had been inspired
by the sleeping Jesus and had joined Him in
sleep, having faith that all is well.
Jesus may have woken up for just a second,
saw them laying down, smiled, and laid back
down, with the sea calming down as His
muscles relaxed into sleep... the last wave
smoothing out with the last fluttering eye
This would have revealed the extent of
Christ's authority over the elements even
while in slumber... that would have been
something to read! Yet an amazing
example of faith would have been the
sleeping Apostles. That would have
made a great movie to inspire millions to
trust! But they failed the test and
left us only with the - yes - very amazing
fact that Jesus calmed the seas.
Our will can get in the way... but God
always turns things around to suit Him.
He calmed the sea, and later Peter,
undoubtedly inspired by what had happened,
walked on water. He walked only a few
steps... and in doing so walked out his
How typical it is to concentrate on the
miracle of the calmed waves. It's more
interesting to see a great outward miracle
than to see the inner - and therefore
greater - miracle of a heart that quietly
trusts. It is this sort of quiet faith
that moves mountains... and calms seas.
God requires faith. Too many times we
see the storms of life and cry to God to
quiet them. But these storms are
designed to burn out our imperfections, to
melt the dross to the top, to be refined as
pure gold. But we fear the waves, and
though God can show mercy and quiet them,
sooner or later they will come crashing down
again, unless we turn in a humble, contrite
manner and listen closely to the counsel of
All fathers would rather lecture than spank,
but many times they have to spank.
Often though, fathers discipline children by
saying nothing and letting them reap the
consequences of their actions - but are
ready to help if need be. Undoubtedly
at one time or another in the past their
lectures about their child's actions fell
upon deaf ears... though it is stressful for
the father to stand silent, sometimes the
child has to learn the consequences of his
What if a child thanked us for a spanking?
What if with a smile they said, "Thanks for
the spanking. I know it will teach me
to live better!" How many spankings do
you think these children will need - very
few? They may need nothing more than a
lecture and barely even that! What an
attitude! An attentive child to his
Father avoids many trials and many
God whisks off our dross into His hands and
filters it down between His fingers and
turns it into pure diamonds, bouncing all
over the floor - waiting for some lucky
person to pick them up. We must relax,
have faith, and quietly give in to His will.
The more we do, the more the sea will be
calm. Let it be sleep that calms it.
God will smile.
All things work together for those who love
God and are called according to His purpose.
You will cross the lake. You can rest
assured of this... like the "Dog Whisper" on
steroids... God knows you and He will
lovingly train you.
Douglas Dale Fry.