The wind and the waves threatened to capsize the fishing boat. Though seasoned on the water, the men aboard began to fear for their lives. Straining at the sails and the oars, bailing water and trying to control the boat, they suddenly noticed that one of them was fast asleep.
Astonished, they rushed to wake him. "Lord, don't you care if we drown?" they asked.
Jesus stood up, spoke to the wind and the waves, and suddenly everything was calm. Turning to his friends, he asked, "Where is your faith?" (Matthew 8:23-27; Mark 4:35-41; Luke 8:22-25)
Most of us can relate to the disciples' fear. Facing an unwelcome medical diagnosis, a catastrophic relational breakdown, a significant loss, we too often feel like we're about to drown with no way out. We find ourselves crying out to God, "Lord, don't you care?"
God does care, as seen in Jesus' response to the disciples. He calmed the storm - but then he asked them a penetrating question: "Where is your faith?" They had seen him heal people of all kinds of illnesses and infirmities - in fact, Matthew precedes his account with several examples of Jesus' healing miracles (Matthew 8:1-17), and Mark and Luke also include several healing miracles prior to this story.
The disciples had seen all those miracles - yet their immediate crisis obscured their memory and understanding of who Jesus was.
How often is this true of us? We see God work in all kinds of ways in our lives - providing everything from jobs to food and clothing to relationships that bring us joy, and, above all, the miracle of salvation. Yet when faced with a crisis, how easily we can forget what God has already done and the many ways he has demonstrated his love and care for us. Rather than praying in quiet confidence that God will bring us through the current crisis too, we cry out in desperation as though we had never experienced his touch.
Jesus didn't ignore the disciples' cry of desperation. He answered their plea for help - and he'll do the same for us (though maybe not always quite so immediately). And if we're paying attention, maybe we too can hear Jesus' encouragement to us to have faith, to remember all that he has done, and to have confidence in Him.