By Lainey Veltri
Waves so fierce they threaten to capsize the boat. Winds that howl like wolves in pursuit pierce the night. Droplets of seawater are spun like miniature torpedoes into the darkness, stinging eyes and skin and depositing unsavory saltiness onto lips. Raw and intense fear overwhelms, releasing adrenaline into the veins and sparking uncontrollable shaking.
Despite the chaos of a raging storm, the Savior slept soundly on a cushion in the bottom of the boat. His followers battled above—fearing for their lives—not realizing they were being held in the arms of a loving warrior whose character it is to love, nurture and protect his children. Worry and fear were unnecessary with the Savior asleep in the bottom of the boat. And yet his followers shouted: “Don’t you care that we are going to drown? Save us, Lord!” (Matthew 8:23-27)
The Gospel account is harrowing and frightening, and yet I am grateful that the Lord inspired its inclusion in the Word. The Master who understands and forgives our yesterdays, knows our tomorrows and desires to be in our present was thinking of me, of you, of his people when he allowed a storm to unfold on the Sea of Galilee. Jesus slept on a cushion in the bottom of the boat while his apostles cowered in fear. Had they truly trusted, they would have instead been confident that their Savior’s presence and power would be all they needed to get through the storm. They forgot who was sleeping on a cushion in the bottom of the boat.
How many times I’ve forgotten the “who” when the storms roll in. When the waves of betrayal and rejection cloud my vision and prevent me from seeing, I’ve forgotten who is holding me during the storm. When the lies and deception sting my heart, make me sob and leave an unsavory taste in my mouth, I’ve forgotten who whispers in my ear, “Everything is going to be OK.” When fear of the unknown weighs more heavily than hope and disrupts my slumber, I’ve forgotten who is under me, holding me up and whispering to my heart, “Do not be afraid.”
I am one of those frightened followers afraid of the storms that swirl around and threaten my peace. Until I remember who is sleeping on a cushion in the bottom of the boat.
And I realize all I need when the storms descend is to curl up next to my Savior and fall asleep with Him on a cushion in the bottom of the boat.