Day 5 – “Little Faiths”
One night when the disciples were crossing the Sea of Galilee, a fierce storm caught them by surprise. Matthew’s description of the situation is vivid. He writes that a “furious storm (in Greek, a seismos, from which the word earthquake is derived) came up on the lake.” Further, “the waves swept over the boat” (literally, “the boat was hidden under the waves”).
Where was Jesus during this crisis? He was asleep on a cushion in the stern. The frightened disciples woke him with a cry: “Lord, don’t you care that we are dying?”
What did Jesus do? Did he try to calm them? Did he tell them to be strong, and assure them that everything would be alright? Not at all; he rebuked them.
He said to them, “Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?” (KJV). “O ye of little faith” translates a noun in Greek, a moniker of sorts: “you little-faiths.”
Jesus used this devastating nickname for his disciples on five occasions. Clearly, he expected his followers to have bold faith. He looked for it. He affirmed it, whenever and wherever he found it.
It is important for us to understand that the storm at sea was not a test of the disciples’ skill as mariners, nor of their courage in the face of danger. It was a test of their faith, as are all our trials (see James 1:3).
The next time you find yourself in a frightening situation – your children aren’t home on time and haven’t called; the doctor’s office asks you to schedule an appointment to discuss the test results; your boss informs you of the upcoming, and possibly permanent, lay-offs – don’t be a “little-faith”. Remember what is being tested. It is not your resourcefulness or courage; not your wisdom or even your spirituality – it’s your faith. Choose to trust God and move forward in obedience.
“When I am afraid, I will trust in you.” (Psalm 56:3)