What to do When Jesus is Sleeping

Text: Luke 8:23-24
and while they were sailing he fell asleep. A gale swept down on the lake, and the boat was filling with water, and they were in danger.  They went to him and woke him up, shouting, ‘Master, Master, we are perishing!’ And he woke up and rebuked the wind and the raging waves; they ceased, and there was a calm. (NRSV)

I don’t know about you, but sometimes it feels like Jesus is sleeping and the storms are starting to rage.  That is not usually how this text hits me when I read it, but today, I’m with my wife caring for my mom who is on hospice.  And, although my mom is usually fairly good, this early morning she has been having what appear to be bad dreams and she is crying out in her sleep.  There is a sense of helplessness on my part.

So, as I was reading this text this morning, my first thought was about Jesus sleeping as the storm, that is bound to get worse before it gets better, is raging.  In my helpless state (read that as me not being able to control the situation), what am I supposed to do?  Jesus appears to be completely unaware of what is going on.  He is resting.  He is asleep.  He is peaceful in the middle of the storm.

Well, if I would keep on reading, I would know that the panicked disciples who thought their lives were about to come to an end, knew what to do.  They woke Jesus up!  And that is what I will do.  I will pray and read God’s word.  I will meditate on the promises of God’s ever abiding presence in the midst of humanity’s struggle.  I will practice the spiritual exercises I have preached about during the entire season of Lent this year.  And I know that Jesus will arise, rebuke the wind and the raging waves, and they will cease, at least within my spirit.

Pray with me:

God of love and God who is ever present in the middle of my storms.  Awake within me the power of faith that I often find so hard to wake within myself when the storms arrive.  Thank you for reminding me that you still have power over the wind and the waves of life and can calm my troubled spirit as they rage.  AMEN.

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