I have always been a good sleeper. When all my friends talk about their tossing and turning and taking melatonin, I tune out. I can fall asleep nearly anywhere. And naps? I relish my Sunday afternoon naps.
Tomorrow is National Public Sleeping Day.
I wonder if that’s the day Jesus fell asleep in the boat during a storm on National Public Sleeping Day. Okay, NOT! Just kidding!
Seriously speaking, here is the scene, the account of Matthew in chapter eight which says, “There arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves, but he was asleep.” (Matthew 8:24)
How can that be? Jesus asleep in a fierce storm? The disciples were probably dumbfounded that Jesus was asleep in the storm, They panicked and woke Jesus up.
He must have been sleeping pretty hard with all the wind and waves pounding against the boat. Never-the-less, Jesus, replied “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?”
And we know the rest of the story. He commanded the wind and the waves to cease and all was well.
To get the full context of the story you have to read the few chapters before and after. Jesus was just plain tuckered out. He had preached the Sermon on the Mount and went straight to healing the masses that followed him.
After the episode on the sea, it was more of the same. He needed to restore and renew. The storm didn’t seem to bother him and the exhaustion coupled with the noise of the waves lulled him to sleep, at least we could picture it that way.
Sleeping in the middle of a storm seems kinda crazy doesn’t it? When we have a strong wind and rain storm at home, even though I am a great sleeper, it can keep me awake. Imagine being in a boat! The racket would be louder than ever. But here we find Jesus sound asleep.
Jesus asks his companions why they are fearful and chides them for their lack of faith. He doesn’t seem to be concerned about the circumstance they find themselves in the boat and the storm.
Why? Mostly, because he is God, the creator of the water, the waves, and the wind.
There is another lesson for us besides recognizing the power of Jesus in a storm that brings calm and peace to a raging sea.
There is something lodged in between the lines of this story that we would be wise to pay attention to.
If the storm doesn’t bother him and he is orchestrating our lives, we can let down our anxiety and actually rest.
We can take care of ourselves physically and emotionally. Why?
Because the stress of a storm can drain us dry. Leaning into the stress and running crazy letting anxiety and fear keep us from resting is a recipe for disaster. Sleep is important all of the time, but when we are under greater duress it is even more critical so we can cope with what is happening.
Here’s how you can know if you aren’t able to sleep in a storm. Your answer to these questions is your clue.
Do you find yourself not being able to rest because your anxiety level is over the top?
Is stress ruling your mind in the storm so you can’t even take a little nap when you know that’s what you need?
Bingo! How did you do?
Jesus gives us a simple visual we can follow. When our boat is being swamped by waves, we can rest, we can sleep, we can nap, if we believe God is in charge of the wind and waves. He is our anchor. If Jesus can sleep in a storm, we can too! (click to tweet)
Speak to your fear and anxiety this week.
Take care of yourself and take a nap.
You’ll be glad you did and when you wake up, things just might not look as bad. Go ahead, sleep in the storm because Jesus is handling those waves that might be trying to swamp your boat.
Happy National Public Sleeping Day!
Find out more about staying anchored in a storm, cynthiacavanaugh.com/anchored