When God Slept

( [email protected] ) Oct 22, 2013 06:51 PM EDT

Jesus Christ Sleeping in the Sea of Storm
(Photo : )

"And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat... But Jesus was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, 'Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?'" - Mark 4: 37-38 


Crisis and calamity call us back to God, or at least, cause us to call out to Him. Anxious billions have asked, "where are you God?" - and He often seems far away. He is the Almighty Absentee.

God's distance from our distress only compounds our concerns, "is He really unawake to our problems?" So imagine the disciples' alarm in finding Jesus near, and yet asleep. "And they woke him, saying, 'Do you not care?'"

It's a valid question. They were in harm's way. Fear for one's life and wellbeing is a natural instinct. We all possess it. Only Jesus can say to them, "O ye of little faith." We cannot. In fact, we can sympathize: it's one thing to walk on water when Jesus says, "walk." It's another not to fear, when Jesus fails to say, "do not be afraid."

Is Jesus unconcerned with our various anxieties? No. For it says elsewhere, "cast all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you." So why is He asleep in the boat?

Perhaps, it's because Jesus was awake in Gethsemane. While the disciples rested, He sweat blood. Jesus slept when spiritual danger was far off, and was alert when it was close at hand. The disciples did the opposite. Is it not telling, that mere hours before Peter thrice denied Christ, Christ caught him asleep three times? Perhaps, we're awake when we needn't be, and asleep when we shouldn't be.

God invites us to rest as He rests, and be vigilant as He is vigilant. He beckons us "not to fear that which can kill the body but cannot kill the soul." Instead, He urges us, like His disciples, to "pray that you may not fall into temptation."