So often in life we find ourselves in troubling and difficult circumstances. We wonder why the Lord is asleep when there are storms raging all around us.
As I pondered Matthew 8: 23-27, I once again found myself wondering why it was so imperative to include these five verses showcasing the disciples’ lack of faith. Weren’t they persecuted enough?
But then I realized that Jesus was trying to show us what was expected of us during the trials of life, what we could expect from Him, and how to survive those moments of impending doom before He calms the sea.
First of all, that tempest must have been pretty severe for a bunch of fisherman to be afraid. Jesus, knowing what was to come, entered the ship and fell asleep. He trusted the disciples to get Him across the sea. Jesus has given us this mortal life as a time to prepare and become more like Him. If He jumped in to save us constantly, we would never learn the valuable lesson of doing things for ourselves and knowing that we can.
The disciples weren’t wrong to call out to Jesus or awaken Him. We are asked to come to our Father in prayer and ask for the things that we need. It is how they came to Him that teaches us there is a better way. We focus on the disciples lack of faith when in reality, the first thing the Savior reprimands them for is their fear. Jesus may not have been there right when they wanted Him. His timing is different than ours as He has the weighty responsibility of teaching us to stretch and grow. But what He’s saying to them is, “Why are you fearful? You know I come eventually, when the time is right.” He is telling them, and us, that in those moments of greatest heartache and worry and fear, we are expected to control our fears.
One of the ways we do that is by putting faith into practice. We remember the past when the Savior has helped us many times before. We remember the scriptures and all the saving Jesus has done for His people. We remember that He created the earth and the moon and the stars and they will obey Him. Every time our heart begins to fear, we stop the progression and remember our Lord isn’t asleep, and that He will calm the seas when the time is right. Our job is to calm our fears.