I’m still ruminating on the thought in my last post that I might be missing things God is saying because I’m not listening, or I’m not listening right. Maybe His words are blocked out by my preconceived ideas, or my lack of faith keeps me from tuning into the proper channels.
Lack of faith could be a huge block to my hearing from God.
Today I read the story, in Luke 8:22-25, of Jesus calming the storm. The disciples are with Jesus on the lake in a boat they’re used to sailing by themselves. But on this day a storm comes up—something they can’t handle.
This is a serious problem. The Bible says they were “in great danger.” But in this account they don’t even ask Jesus to help. Maybe it hasn’t occurred to them yet that He could do anything about the situation. They just tell Him, “We’re going to drown.”
He calms the storm, and then he asks, “Where is your Faith?”
I’ve always assumed He was just asking why they doubted, and Mark's gospel account of the story supports that idea. But what if this isn’t a rhetorical question? What if He really wants them to think about the answer-—to consider where they're placing their faith?
I recently read A. J. Jacob’s book, The Year of Living Biblically. In it he recounts a story from Jewish oral tradition. According to the legend, the Red Sea didn’t part when Moses held out his staff over the water. It didn’t part until some relatively unknown Israelite stepped into the sea. Not until he walked in ankle deep, then knee deep, then waist deep, then shoulder deep, then neck deep.
Then God parted the water.
This isn’t actually how it happened. I doubt there was an Israelite among them who had that much faith, for one thing. And, according to the Bible, the waters were pushed back all night long by a strong wind. But the story still illustrates a great truth, supported by other stories of faith in the Bible, in both the Old and New Testaments.
I’m working toward a theology of faith in my walk with the Lord. Maybe the things I want to see God doing, in my life and in the lives of people I pray for—-things I know are in His will—-require acts, or steps of faith on my part. I’m not sure what that looks like. Faith steps will probably look different for every request. But the idea excites me.
In verse 25, the disciples ask their own question: “Who is this?” they say.
I think the answer to both questions-—the one Jesus asks, and the one they are asking-—should be the same.