Do NOT fear or worry: Jesus is in the SAME boat as us!

 

Jesus was in the SAME boat!

Jesus storm - The painting

Often when we are in trouble and we share our woes with others, we hear the expression, “I know, I’m in the same boat!”

This is said usually to bring comfort that someone else is going through a similar experience, and we can know that we are not alone in our time of need.  Similarly, the Canadian musician, Avril Levine sings:  Watcha Crying for? It’s all been done before!

There’s not only comfort, but truth in these words: Being part of humanity, we can be sure that someone, somewhere has gone through what we are going through – or far worse for that matter!   Knowing this can be a sobering reality for us.  It also gives us an opportunity to learn from their mistakes and to hear possible solutions.  If we are blessed enough, God will send us someone who knows exactly what we are going through, if not to offer answers, than at least to offer support.

However, sometimes we feel like just when we need someone the most, our phone never rings; no one knocks on our door and we’re convinced that we could drop over dead and it would be days before someone finds us!

Well, what we need to remember is that even though we feel alone, someone is listening and someone is with us.  This is made evident in the story when the disciples of Jesus, find themselves being tossed to and fro in the sea; scared for their very lives.  Meanwhile, Jesus is at the front of the boat, sleeping!

Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat.  But Jesus was sleeping.  The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”  He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?”  Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.  The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!” {Matthew 8:23-27}

Theologians and pastors have often comforted us with the truth that no matter what storm we go through Jesus can calm it.  Well, here’s even better news:  Did you know that when the disciples were in that furious storm and they cried out “Lord save us! We’re going to drown” they temporarily forgot one important thing:  Not only was Jesus able to calm the storm.  HE WAS IN THE SAME BOAT!

He wasn’t far off somewhere enjoying a drink on the beach!   He was in the boat with them.

More so, amidst a storm, here he was, sleeping, seemingly oblivious to the fears and the imagined doom of his friends.  It wasn’t because he didn’t care about them or that he was neglecting their needs.  It was because he knew what they should haven known; that he, in his faith, was able to calm the storm.  He was their protector.

He would never jump out of the boat and leave them to fend for themselves.  He was sleeping because he could rest in knowing that whatever the conditions of that storm, his power was greater.  And yet, what did Jesus say to his disciples – and all of us – just before he ascended to heaven:

Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.  {John 14:12} 

What we need to realize is that we too have authority over our own storms.  We can go to bed at night, knowing that if we speak that our storm will pass, truly believe that God’s “got it”, we can also sleep as Jesus did, without worry.  This is exactly what God wants us to do and that is why he had Jesus asleep in the boat – to illustrate this point to us.

It’s not like the disciples didn’t know this wisdom too!  They had seen him perform many miracles greater than calming a storm.   It would seem that even his disciples needed reminding of this fact on a regular basis – as do we sometimes – and that’s okay.

As Jesus says:  “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest…learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”  {Matthew 11:28-30}

Jesus assures us that as long as we are in the same boat with him, he will give us rest also.   He too has experienced his own storms and his own burdens.   He doubted; he was tempted.  He even said to his father in heaven before his crucifixion, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.”   {Matthew 26:38}

If even Jesus can feel such sorrow, surely he knows how we feel.  He is in the boat with us and he is resting because He knows no storm is greater than his power.

So when you find yourself in a boat that feels like it is sinking, put aside your own little Dixie cup and let Jesus bail you out!

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