But as they sailed He had fallen asleep and He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing? Lord save us!"
Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea and the wind, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.
But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful, O you of little faith? How is it that you have no faith?"
And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, Who is this man that even the wind and the sea obey Him!”
These were seasoned fisherman, some had been on this Sea all of their lives, and yet they were afraid. What did they believe at this point? They feared the storm and called out to Jesus, but it seems they had no real concrete expectation as to how the crisis situation was to be resolved, because when Jesus commands the wind and the waves they are even more fearful.
I can imagine them in the bow of the boat after Jesus had gone back to sleep, talking amongst themselves, questioning the events which just unfolded. "Who is this man?"
More penetrating even still, "Who is this God?' Who is this Messiah who would place our lives in peril? Why were our very lives threatened while in the presence of God? God was in the boat and they had no explanation for the terror and fear they felt. Awestruck perhaps humbled they could only huddle and comtemplate the evenings events. The questions they had would be answered, but in the interim they had to begin an examination of what it was they believed to be true of God and how that was to be fleshed out in their lives now. All of their lives they had had
instruction and teaching on Who God was, but now that had changed. Being with God? in person was not what they anticipated, this was not how they pictured it, and the questions and doubt between expectation and reality were without a definitive answer not only becasue of this event, but what of future more perilous situations. How would they be resolved? And at what cost?
It was a revelation that they had committed their lives and care into the hands of God and yet they had despaired for their lives.
"O you of little faith!" In the midst of the storm they had lost sight of Who was in the boat with them. It is not that God will never see us imperiled, nor will he keep us from harm, but that God will always be in the boat with us.
It is easy to have faith when the sailing is good, but in the tempests of life when we cry out for help and the storm ensues, that is when faith becomes real.
It often appears that Jesus is 'asleep' and needs to be awakened to our plight, but He is not unmindful nor indifferent to our peril. The reality is that faith requires an acceptance of God as our only recourse and a waiting and trust in Him to provide.
Faith is not an effort, a striving, a ceaseless seeking as so many earnest souls suppose, but, rather a letting go, an abandonment, an abiding rest in God that nothing, not even the soul's shortcomings, can disturb. This is faith in God even as He reveals Himself as wild and disturbing in His dealings with the frailties of man. When faith is based on the character and promises of God it is ever bold and incredulity is timid. When faith fails by the temptation of fear then all confidence is lost.
We all have a breaking point, a conundrum, a quandary, an 'obsessio', that point of contact with the world and/or people where what we have learned and where we have come from will trump faith and instill the old fears and cause us to regress. These failings are never realized, these fears will never be quelled until tried in the fires of temptation and trial. "We never perhaps know the weakness of our faith, until we are placed in the furnace of trial and anxiety."
It is fear which is the bane of faith, but faith is the greater power when we refuse to have our confidence broken. Fear is always present where faith is not.
Isaiah 12:2, Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid."
Isaiah 26:3,4 You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forever, for in God, the Lord, is everlasting strength."