He neither slumbers nor sleeps

By Andrew Packer
Special to The PREVIEW
“And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But he 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?’ And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, ‘Peace! Be still!’ And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, ‘Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?’ And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, ‘Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?’” — Mark 4:37-41.
You have to understand that this was no normal storm. Many of the disciples were fishermen and they had seen quite a few storms, but this was different. In fact, this is most likely a demonic storm, a storm caused by the devil to try to get Jesus. The disciples thought they were going to die.
And Jesus is sleeping.
Throughout the Bible we are told that to sleep soundly is a sign of faith — a sign of trust in God — and Jesus, fully God and fully man, perfectly fears, loves and trusts in His Father above all things, no matter what is going on around Him.
And so, the Son of God sleeps, and the terrified disciples rush to wake Him up.
Have you not felt like God was asleep? Haven’t you been terrified in the midst of the storms that have come your way and thought that God must be taking a nap?
There is much that we can learn from this event. Today we will focus on just one: the disciples and we ourselves are taught that it is to Christ alone that we should flee for refuge.
The disciples rightly teach us that we should always run to Christ for refuge — whether temporal or eternal. He neither slumbers nor sleeps. He is always ready and willing to assist you in your time of need. His ears are always attentive to your prayers. Does He sometimes appear to be sleeping? Yes, but only so that we might even more seek to “wake” Him through our prayers, so that He might strengthen our faith.
That very same Christ who calmed the storm wants you to have peace as well. Psalm 127 says that He gives to His beloved sleep, peaceful rest. His desire for you is to trust in Him even when things are bad, even when things look like they can’t get any worse and then they do, even when you are scared and struggling and wondering when or if the storm is ever going to end.
Because He is fully God and fully man. He speaks a Word and calms the storms. He has suffered and died for your sins. He is risen and ascended — all for you and your salvation. So that even in the face of death and hell itself you can be at peace. Because you know that the One who has conquered death and hell for you is on your side and fights for you, even when you are of little faith.

This story was posted on June 21, 2018.