When God is silent
The disciples found themselves in a boat with Jesus. All of a sudden, there was a windstorm. The boat filled with water. The disciples freaked out. In the meantime, Jesus rested His head on a pillow—yes, dozing in the stern.
“And they awoke Him and said to Him, ‘Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?’
Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace, be still!’ And the wind ceased and there was a great calm” (Mark 4:38-39 NKJV).
Jesus asked His disciples a question.
“‘Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?’” (V. 40 NKJV).
Jesus acted as if His disciples were crazy for not trusting Him more. But honestly, if I would’ve been in the disciples’ shoes, I would’ve thought Jesus was the crazy one.
I mean, think about it. You’re in a boat. Floating on water. And the water is coming into the boat. Now, I’m certainly no naval architect, but I do know that water is not supposed to be inside the boat. Whenever that happens, the boat sinks. And when the boat sinks, you drown!
That’s one thing. But here’s the worst part: as you drown in a sinking boat, Jesus is snoozing at the stern with a pillow.
I don’t know about you, but I find myself in the disciples’ shoes quite often. Throughout Scripture, God promises to always be with His people.
“‘Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go’” (Josh. 1:9 NKJV).
“The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit” (Ps. 34:18 NKJV).
Jesus himself says, “‘… I am with you always, even to the end of the age’” (Matt. 28:20 NLT).
Notice that Jesus was with the disciples in their storm. The same is true for me and you. God is present in our storms.
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble” (Ps. 46:1 NIV).
But, like the disciples, I’m wondering why God—although present in my storms, usually appears to sleep through the storms of my life instead of calming them.
I bet you’re wondering the same. I believe one of the reasons why God often appears asleep during the storms of our lives is because He desires for us to seek His character more so than His abilities.
I want to draw your attention to how the disciples responded to Jesus calming the storm.
“And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, ‘Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!’” (V. 41 NKJV).
Notice that the disciples wondered “who” Jesus was. This man just commanded nature to obey Him, and it did! And I wonder if the disciples wouldn’t have cherished the character of God had Jesus instantly fixed their situation. You see, the disciples could’ve been more focused on what God did for them instead of who He was to them.
Sometimes, I believe God is silent in our storms because He desires to reveal more of Himself to us. Sure, He desires to help us—but, beyond that, He desires for us to know Him.
There’s a popular Christian song by Natalie Grant called “More Than Anything.” She sings, “Help me want the Healer more than the healing. Help me want the Savior more than the saving. Help me want the Giver more than the giving. Help me want you Jesus more than anything.”
Jesus told the wind and waves, “‘Peace, be still!’” (V. 39 NKJV). And I believe He’s telling us the same. “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” (Ps. 46:10 NKJV).
When God is silent, keep two things in mind. First, always remember that He’s present in your boat. Secondly, remember to be still, learning to know Him in a deeper, more intimate way.
And then, when God does come through, you’ll be like the disciples—amazed by a new revelation of “who” God is.