Summer. Oh, the many joys of summer. Longer days. Sun. Vacation. Outdoor time. Cool snacks. A mid-day thunderstorm. Yes, I actually enjoy one of those…if it also involves a nap, doesn’t come in the middle of a long drive, or wrecks otherwise best-laid plans.
Summer is bound to bring witth it lots of sun, but also many a thunderstorm. This particular afternoon was no different, except it was. We were hosting our church youth group for a pool party. My husband and I had been talking for some time about blessing others with the blessings we have been given, and were in a place to do just that. Except-there was a problem.
Not the food. There was plenty. Not the sodas. Our youth pastor was making sure sodas were aplenty. Not the pool. It had been cleaned. Every leaf, bug, piece of debris was gone. It was the weather. The storm that was brewing; and of course, it was expected to run into “party” time.
We had been here before. This pool saw its first baptism the summer before, and Satan tried to do the same thing then. Throw in an anticpated storm to keep that from happening. It didn’t work then, so why did he think it would today?
Then Jesus got into the boat and started across the lake with his disciples. Suddenly, a fierce storm struck the lake, with waves breaking into the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” Jesus responded, “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” Then he got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly there was a great calm. The disciples were amazed. “Who is this man?” they asked. “Even the winds and waves obey him!” Matthew 8:23-27, NLT
That’s right. Even the wind. And that is what I requested. That He make the wind obey. Rebuke it actually, and cause the skies to clear so no rain would fall during this evening. I prayed, and I left the outcome to Him.
I didn’t look at the weather anymore. I didn’t focus on what it was like outside. What the clock said, meaning would all this pass before the start of this event? Preparations continued as if the storm wasn’t going to occur at all.
We read these miracles. We have heard this story in countless sermons, but we “of little faith,” don’t call on Him to make the wind obey. To calm the storm. The disciples were even guilty of this. Tucked in the passages prior to this story were stories of other healings and miracles that Jesus had performed: a man healed of leprosy, a Roman servant healed through faith, and Peter’s own mother-in-law was healed. And yet, here are the disciples, in a boat, with the One who they watched do all these things with little faith.
I can imagine exactly what they were doing, too. No different than we are at times, minus the doppler radars, and lightening strike notifications. They forgot everything they witnessed. They forgot the good they saw in Jesus, and they stayed focused on chaos. Scrambling around, focused on their own strength, asking questions of each other: Should we change course? What plans do we need to change? Where should we go? What should we do? What if this? Forgetting that the one with ALL the strength, knowledge, and wisdom was on the back of that boat, and only looking to Him when all else failed.
“You, of such little faith.”
You know, it did rain after all. God did not make the rain simply go away, but on that afternoon it lasted maybe ten whole minutes. Predicted by man to last an hour. It also ended up being clear and sunny for the remainder of the evening, also a prediction by man to not be the case. See, God’s will wasn’t to keep fellowship from occurring-but Satan sure did try. His desire, at all times, is for us to ask for what we need, and believe it. Have faith.
So…are we quick to forget the One who provides in the midst of our storms? Even the thunderstorms? Are we quick to abort mission when our best-laid plans don’t look like they are going to turn out the way we predicted? Or do we go to the one who controls all those predictions anyway? And let Him have our plans?
Because yes…even the wind obeys when we ask, and believe.