When Jesus sleeps

Sometimes I think Jesus is sleeping through my storm.  I know in my heart and in my spirit that He knows me, and loves me and sees me, but in the middle of the storm, as the waves crash over me, sometimes no matter how hard I look for him, I don’t see Him.

I’m studying and collecting Bible passages on prayer, for a virtual retreat I’m putting together here on my blog.  This, combined with circumstances arising in my life and in my family right now, has kept my brain very busy in the wee hours of the night/early morning.  Today, I was thinking about Jesus’ prayer time at Gethsemane, and how He had brought along his disciples to watch with him while He prayed, only to find them snoozing instead.  Jesus confronts Peter, “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” and warns that the because the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak, that they ought to watch and pray so that they will not fall into temptation.  He leaves them to continue praying, only to return and see that they had fallen asleep again.  This time there is no indication of conversation before the Bible tells us he left them to continue praying again.  When he is finished, he returns to them to find them still asleep and questions again, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour has come, and the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners.”

Now, I will admit, my brain jumps and fires strangely before coffee, and this morning was no exception.  I remembered another time that someone got upset at another for sleeping during a stressful time.  The disciples were out in the middle of the sea in a boat with Jesus, when the Bible tells us a furious squall came up and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped.  Here are the disciples, in the same boat with Jesus, watching their boat fill with water, when they realize Jesus is just sleeping through it!  When they woke him, their accusingly questioned him “don’t you care if we drown?”  Jesus then rebuked the wind and commanded the winds to be still, then in perfect Jesus fashion, answers the disciples question with a question of his own.  “Why are you so afraid?  Do you still have no faith?

It’s interesting to look at these stories side by side.  In both stories, there is a storm raging.  In both stories someone is sleeping through it, and someone is not.

Jesus sleeps while the disciples worry and fret.

The disciples sleep while Jesus prays and sweats.

When I am fretting, and it appears Jesus has fallen asleep, I have to remember, if He’s sleeping, it’s because He is the Master…even the wind and the waves obey Him.