A few weeks ago, Jon walked us through Matt. 8:23—27. Jesus is asleep in the boat and the waves of the Sea of Galilee begin to rise. The disciples, also in the boat, begin to worry and fear for their lives believing that surely they will drown. Jesus, in the meantime, sleeps as if He is back home on His Tempurpedic, the perfect pillow holding His head in place, with the sound machine in the background playing a trickling stream of water.
The disciples, most of them fisherman, know the power of the storms on this water. So they wake Jesus saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing” (v.25). Right here is where I enter the story because I would have been asking the Lord for help as well. Jesus gets up, questions their faith, and then calms the storm.
There have been many times I have laid awake at night, unable to sleep because I am worried about something. The stack of bills on the counter, the car that needs many repairs, the house that needs to be worked on, the college fund for the kids (that hasn’t even begun), the reasons why certain things happen— they all keep me awake at night. I can even hear myself calling out to Jesus, “Save me from this, Lord, or I might die.”
This story of sleeping made me think to other times in the Bible when sleeping was an issue. Later in the Book of Matthew, Chapter 26, Jesus goes to pray in Gethsemane and takes the disciples with Him. Here we see a glimpse of the fully human side of Jesus when He said, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me” (v.38). So Jesus goes up further and prays but when He returns the disciples had fallen asleep. Again, put me in this story-- right here. Jesus questions their faith and tells them again to stay awake and, “watch and pray” (v. 41).
I wonder what it is that I am falling asleep on? What is Jesus asking me to stay awake for and I have no problem going right off to sleep? I often find myself thinking that the disciples were ridiculously naive. They walked with the Son of Man and yet they feared the waves and fell asleep when Jesus asked them not to. However, I am worse than they were. I have the whole story held in my hands. I have the power of the Holy Spirit living in me and yet I still have fears and questions. I also fall asleep (literally and figuratively) when I shouldn’t.
As I strive to be more like Jesus, my hope is that the things that are important to Him are what are important to me, and the things I need not worry about don’t make me sleep deprived.
Brian Lucas, Experience Leader