Friday, December 24, 1999
"But as they sailed he fell asleep: and there came down a storm of wind on the lake; and they were filled with water and were in jeopardy.
And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm.
And he said unto them, Where is your faith? And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man of this! for he commandeth even the winds and the water, and they obey him."
First of all, I think it is totally bizarre to try to picture Christ asleep. When we think of God, I think we always always picture him awake, aware, and listening (unless we are having one of those dark, rebellious days or something). :) The mere fact that the scripture talks about him asleep illustrates the amazing thing that he did for us, coming to earth and bowing to the requirements of a mortal, imperfect body... to set an example for us to follow, and to suffer for our sins, so that we would have a chance to remember and return to our lives with God. As for the rest of the scripture I think that it is mildly funny. Hope that isn't blasphemous or anything, but I picture this scene... the boat is filling with water, everyone is sopping wet, they are scared out of their minds, and so they wake up Christ and say, oh... we just wanted to inform you, we're dying. So, Christ wakes up... and, seriously, I doubt that he ever got enough sleep during his ministry, he was probably pretty tired. I'm sure that Christ wasn't grouchy when he woke up, but maybe he was just sad that he had to wake up, and so he gets up, says... okay, you've had your fun, calm down... and so the wind and the water, sufficiently chastened, stop teasing everyone... and Christ says, basically... where is your faith? First of all, if you trusted God, you would have known that you weren't going to drown, and second of all, if you had had some faith, you could have done what I just did without waking me up... and there is the big lesson, I think. One of the reasons that I think we had to have the veil drawn over a lot of our memories of pre-earth life is that we, like the apostles, would know God absolutely and certainly, and ask him to calm everything in our lives. But we have to do it ourselves sometimes... God solved some of the Brother of Jared's problems, but one he told him to figure out for himself. Not that we shouldn't ask God... we need to, always. But a lot of times, when we think God isn't hearing us, I think he's actually saying... okay, I took care of all of that other stuff in your life, you can do this one on your own. And we can. God wouldn't ask us to if we couldn't. So, this scripture is saying trust in God, but also realize what God is doing for us... he offers us his own power to deal with things, if we would just call upon it. No one is helpless. The storms of life might make you think you are going to drown, but all of it is in God's hands... and yours, if you call upon his power, and remember that God *wants* you to learn to be like he is... that is the whole point of our existence. If he did it all for us, what would we learn? So, maybe right now the biggest leap of faith we can muster is to ask God where we left the car keys... but little by little, we learn to trust him for bigger things, and to solve things we never thought we could solve... with God's help.