“Jess, I need you to wake up really fast. Someone’s trying to break into my room.”
Those were my sister’s words at 1am Saturday. I went from being in a deep sleep to on my feet and moving in about one second flat.
Everything was quiet in the house I share with my sister and my best friend. Everything except the rattling of the glass sliding door in Bek’s room.
I jumped out of my bed, ran to my phone on the dining table and began dialing the police. My sister stood outside her bedroom door, a weapon she’d quickly grabbed in her hand, listening to the door violently rattle. It was definitely the sound of someone trying to get in.
By this point I’d only been awake for less than a minute, but I’d already planned that if the bad guys got in, I’d run out another door and go screaming down the street trying to wake up as many people as possible.
“Make a noise! Let them know we’re awake and ringing the cops!” I said to my sister.
Just after I finished speaking, the front door started shaking. We have a good deadbolt on it, but I ran over anyway to double check that it was locked. My phone was still in my hand, I was still trying to dial the right number for the cops.
Let me pause there.
Can you feel the adrenaline spiking through our systems? Can you imagine how scared we were?
Take that emotion, multiply it by ten and you’ve probably got what the disciples were feeling during this experience, recorded in the Bible:
One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and set out. As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger.
The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!”
He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. “Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples.
In fear and amazement they asked one another, “Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.”
Luke 8:22-25 NIV
“Where is your faith?” Are you kidding? At 1am Saturday, I didn’t roll over and go back to sleep trusting that God would get rid of the baddies. Plenty of Christians have been attacked, mugged, raped or killed. Their ‘faith’ didn’t save them. I would have been squealing right along with the disciples!
But Jesus’ question got me thinking. What did he mean by ‘faith’?
Even though at the end of the story Jesus calmed the storm and saved their lives, I don’t think he expected them to believe that God would definitely save them.
Yes, in this instance he made the problem go away. But a few decades later, most of the disciples were executed in a variety of gruesome ways. And at that point in their lives, they did have faith. Yet God chose not to save them.
So what does it mean, then? To have faith? What does Jesus expect of us?
And furthermore, how does ‘faith’ affect our life decisions, our stress levels and our prayer lives?
It’s something I’m going to investigate through a multi-part series over the next few weeks. This is also the topic I’m probably going to speak on when I do my first ever talk at church in July.
I’d love to incorporate people’s insights, questions and thoughts as we go on this journey together. Join the conversation in the comments below!
And curious about what happened after I checked the lock on my door?
You’ll have to stick around to find out.
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