And coming near, his disciples awakened Him, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing.” Matthew 8:25
Perishing – Do you realize that we are in the boat with Yeshua? If the boat sinks, He sinks with us. That’s what Paul had in mind when he said that if the Christ isn’t raised from the dead, we are the most miserable of all. If the boat sinks, we all go down.
The disciples didn’t see the irony of their situation that day on the sea of Galilee. Of course the waves were crashing. Of course the boat was being tossed back and forth. But Jesus was sleeping on the deck. Doesn’t that strike you as a bit odd? If the storm was so bad that the disciples thought they would drown, how can Jesus be sleeping through it? And when they wake Him, don’t they perceive that He is in just as much danger as they are? The whole story is strange. Jesus doesn’t act like we would act. He is unconcerned by the circumstances. What the disciples failed to grasp is that if they are in the boat with Jesus, they are just fine.
These men plead with Jesus. “Apollumetha!” (in Greek). It’s a verb that means “to destroy, to lose, to perish,” but with the added emphasis (apo) of emotional terror. We would say, “Lord, we’re going to die!” In fact, the same verb is used to talk about eternal death in the gospels. From the disciples’ point of view, things are getting worse by the minute. They might have said to themselves, “What’s the matter with him? How can he sleep at a time like this? Doesn’t he know how serious this is?” That sounds like dozens of times that I have been in the boat on the rough seas with Yeshua. I pled with Him to take a closer look at my situation. “Lord, don’t you know how desperate this is? Look at all those dark clouds. Look at that lightning.” I grip His arm. “Lord, don’t you know we’re going to die?”
Pretty funny, isn’t it? I mean, here I am in the boat with the God of the universe in human form. I’m riding the waves with the One Who made the sea, the wind, the lightning and the thunder. He’s not one bit afraid. I’m standing right next to Him. Do I really think He’s going to let the boat sink under us?
The lesson is obvious. Circumstances do not dictate the outcome of life. Relationship does. If I am truly in the boat with Jesus, I have nothing to fear. We are riding the waves together. The only time I need be afraid is when I am not in the boat with Him.
Jesus’ response to all this terror is so typical of God. He makes a joke. “You little-faiths! Why are you so upset? I’m right here with you. It’s no problem.”
Every day is a boat ride on the high seas. The only thing that matters is your companion. All the rest is just water off a duck’s back.
Topical Index: Fear