Sleeping in a Storm

“But Jesus was in the rear of the boat, sleeping on a pillow.” – Mark 4:38

When I was younger, I had trouble sleeping—for about 10 years. I would go for a few days off and on every few weeks without much or any sleep. When the insomnia was at its worst, I might miss entire nights of sleep. The absolute worst was a week where I had only a couple of days worth of sleep for the entire week.

In the passage above, Jesus doesn’t have any issue with sleep at all. And no wonder, Jesus had been teaching all day by the lakeside and was exhausted. Like anyone else putting in a hard day’s work, Jesus needs a break, some sleep. So he does what anyone would, he gets a pillow, finds a comfortable place, and goes to sleep.

Or at least he tries to get some sleep.

A short time later, certainly not long enough for Jesus to be rested, Jesus is awakened by frightened screaming disciples,

“Teacher, don’t you care that we’re drowning?”

I imagine Jesus getting up, rubbing the sleep from his eyes, looking around to see the situation, and then,

“Silence! Be still!”

Everything calms and a boat of amazed disciples are left to wonder what’s going on. So, what does Jesus do after? I imagine he goes back to sleep. He still needs rest so why wouldn’t he.

For times of chaos and uncertainty, we get a couple of good responses from Jesus. One, take care of the problem if there is a problem. Things happen in life and usually when we are not expecting them to. Stuff breaks. People break. Situations break. When it happens, we address it the best we can and go on. Second, take care of yourself so you can take care of these things when they happen. You never know when these things will happen, so take care that your mind, body, and spirit are healthy. Eat well. Rest well. Pray hard. Seek God. Keep your mind engaged. All of this is necessary for life and life that is abundant.

And when in doubt, take a nap.

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