In 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 slept.

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 lid.

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 faith.

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 God.

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 actions.

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 spankings.

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.
Copyright 2009





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