The fishing was fair. The sun was high. The wind was blowing, and the waves were growing. I was certainly glad there was no storm on the horizon, but the waves were getting the better of me. My stomach was growing more and more uneasy. That bothered me more than physically. My pride was being affected as my queasiness grew. I had been on the ocean before with high waves. Why was my stomach rebelling this time? Even twenty years later, I can’t tell why.
It would have been a good time to pray, I guess, but I didn’t. In relating this to Mark 4 where the waves grew and the boat had its fair share of fishermen aboard, I didn’t pray, but the disciples felt the need to do the next best thing, wake up Jesus!
They saw a need, went to the source of all help, asked for relief and received it. As a result, Jesus asked them, “Why do you have so little faith?” Didn’t they do what they were supposed to do? That’s how we pray, and are suppose to pray, right?
Jesus wanted them to live out of their faith, faith in the name of him who was with them. They are his disciples, his learners. We learn from Jesus in order to be like Jesus. When Jesus was awakened, he knew what the will of God was, to still the storm. The disciples knew what their will was. It was to still the storm. Perhaps they weren’t sure what the will of God was in this situation.
We sometimes think God might have a bigger purpose in mind than what we think. Maybe it was the will of God for several elementary-age kids to die from a tornado in Oklahoma this spring. Maybe it was the will of God for suicide bombers to kill ten people in Baghdad a few days ago. Maybe it was the will of God for hundreds of people to die when a building collapsed around them in India a few weeks ago. Need I go on? Isn’t that down right stupid? Surely we can all agree none of this was the will of God. If it was, I’ll stop writing now and become a content agnostic if you stop reading this dribble.
Sorry, I haven’t stopped writing. What about you?
We are his learners. From him, we learn what the will of God is. From his actions and words, we learn what our responsibilities are from what he said and did on the earth – to bring heaven to earth. Jesus didn’t bless this storm in Mark 4. He calmed it by declaring the will of God in the atmosphere. Disciples are to learn the will of God and declare it, live it out, share the Good News and see what heaven looks like.
In prayer, bring before the Lord your agreement with what you already know to be his heart-felt will regarding that concern and declare your trust in that. As part of prayer, we should also listen for directions from God on how he would want his will carried out.
I never lost my cookies on that fishing trip. I’m prone to feel nauseous, however, when good church folks construct theologies that make God out to be a conjurer of storms and murderer of the innocent. That makes me sick because I know what the will of God is. What about you?