After watching numerous videos of Japan’s earthquake and the ensuing tsunami, my heart breaks for those whose lives have been lost and the loved ones they leave behind. Like many, I wonder, “Where is God?”
The disciples once had a similar experience on a much smaller scale. In Luke 8, Jesus and his twelve disciples were crossing the Sea of Galilee by boat. While Jesus slept, a storm came upon the vessel and threatened to overturn it. In a culture where many of these men may not have been strong swimmers and no Coast Guard would come to the rescue, they broke into a panic. Jesus, however, remained asleep (Yes, Jesus, in his humanity, must have been a sound sleeper.).
The Twelve woke him, shouting, “Don’t you care we are going to drown?” They feared for their lives.
Jesus, the maker of life, simply stood up and told the storm to stop. It did.
He then commented on their lack of faith.
If it had been you or I in the boat, we would have done the same thing as the disciples. We would turn to fear, cry out to God, and wonder why such tragedy is taking place.
Why? Because that’s what we do still today. Whether a flat tire or a natural disaster, we find our selves defaulting to fear in times of trouble.
But we forget that at the end of this episode in Luke 8, his followers were amazed at Christ’s power over the storm. Then they end the account with questions.
For me, this is one of many places that reveals even when Jesus does show up, we are still left with questions. Whether an earthquake or a sunny day, we will always have questions about how God operates.
Because he’s God and we’re not.
So our options are to live in fear or in faith. In truth, we live in both, sometimes bouncing from one to the other moment by moment. Scripture gives us courage to walk in faith despite the frailty of our humanity. We don’t escape our doubts, but we do have confidence we are not alone. Jesus controls the storm.
Dillon Burroughs has written, co-written, or edited over 60 books, including the upcoming devotional work Thirst No More (October 2011). He served as an associate editor for The Apologetics Study Bible for Students and is a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary. Find out more at DillonBurroughs.org.