I look at Jesus’ words, “O you of little faith,” and I can’t help but think that if he were to see me now, he would say the same thing. “O Bruce, why do you have so little faith?”
Think for a bit about the circumstances the disciples faced. They’re taking the boat across the lake just as Jesus told them to. At first, things are calm, but suddenly, as is often the case in that region, a sudden squall comes in. Now, waves are crashing in the boat, and row as they might against the wind and the waves, they’re not getting anywhere.
Suddenly the thought comes, “Why doesn’t Jesus do something?” They look down and find him fast asleep in the boat. Here they are about to die, and Jesus is sleeping?
So they wake him up and shout, “Master! Master! Save us! Don’t you care we’re about to drown?”
I wonder at that point, what exactly they expected Jesus to do? From their reaction at the end of the story, they certainly didn’t expect him to do what he did. So what then?
My guess, is they had no clue. They asked not truly believing that Jesus could do anything, but at the same time thinking that if there was anyone who could save them, it was him. A strange mixture of faith and unbelief.
How often are we the same? We’re drowning in our circumstances. We’ve exhausted all efforts trying to keep our boat afloat, and now, we cry out to Jesus, not because we truly believe he can help us, but because we have no other options. We cry, not in faith, but in desperation. In our panic, we even wonder if he’s asleep on the job. If he really cares.
Yet Jesus in his grace, brings us through the storm as he gently chides, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith? (Mark 4:40).
Which brings me back to my original question. How often does Jesus ask that of me? Why would I doubt that he cares, and why would I doubt that he is in control when he has proven himself time and time again? And yet I do.
Would that I could completely trust him. To not let anxiety take over me when I lose control of a situation (as if I ever were in control?). To ask of him not in panic or fear, but in faith, fully believing that he does care for me, and will meet my needs.
Lord Jesus, forgive me for the times that I don’t trust you. That I let fear and anxiety reign in my life. Why should I fear when I should know by now that you love me? That you care for me?
Lord, change me. Help me to trust in you. Let your perfect love cast out fear and anxiety in my life. In Jesus name, amen.