Asleep in the Wrong Boat

“And a great windstorm arose, and beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. But [Jesus] was in the stern, asleep on a pillow.” – Mark 4:37-38

“But Jonah had gone down into the lowest parts of the ship and laid down, and was fast asleep.” Jonah 5:1

Ever since reading Mark 3:38 I’ve had this notion that real faith would be to sleep in the boat in the storm. What would it be like to have so much faith that the waves don’t even wake me? But the more I dwell on that the more I fail. I see how worried I get, and I fall short every time.

This morning I was reading in Jonah and I saw Jonah asleep in the stern of his boat to Tarshish. Is this what real faith looks like? Jonah is asleep in the boat, not worried at all about what’s going on around him. But the thing is, he was asleep in the wrong boat.

The Greek word used for “asleep” means to stun or stupefy with sleep. He was stupefied — what a description! He was so out of touch with faith and obedience that sin became his peace. But of course, it was a fake peace without assurance and safety.

Mark 4 uses a word which, in the Greek, means to lie down and rest. To rest. Sometimes I can’t help but wonder if God is ashamed when I’m freaking out in the boat inside of a storm. But what I do know is that I would rather be uneasy in the boat with Jesus, than asleep in the wrong boat like Jonah. I’d rather be broken in the presence of my savior, than believing I’m whole apart from Him.

God is never surprised that I’m white-knuckled while watching the waves. I imagine Him smiling at me and saying “Baby steps are okay Samantha, you’re in the right boat.”


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