Coffee Stains: Grouchy?Author: David Porter
I think I found a place in the Bible where the Lord was grouchy, not sinfully grouchy mind you, because He was perfect and faultless, but necessarily grouchy.
Like I am sometimes. I’m not even sure that grouchy is the right word. I’ll let you judge. Jesus had had a long tough day of teaching and He was pooped. So He breathed heavily in a deep sleep in the back of the boat while His evangelistic band crossed the lake. A small flotilla of boats accompanied them. Suddenly hard punching winds and frantic clouds announced the coming of a dangerous storm. Former fishermen among them used all their skills to ride the bucking waves and tempest. It didn’t look good, though, and they were nearly swamped. We can measure how much Jesus invested in His ministry by considering the fact that He was so tired that He didn’t even wake up. He had probably been up early praying again. He dreamed on sweetly while His disciples rowed, bailed, yelled and prayed for their lives. He prayed so He slept through storms. They slept through prayer meetings so they were scared to death during the storm. Does it ever seem that the Lord does you that way? You’re scared to death and paddling like crazy and He seems to be off somewhere taking a little siesta. Finally, things got so bad that they woke Him up. Probably had to shake Him quite a while.
‘”Teacher, is it nothing to you that we’re going down?” (Mark 4:38, The Message).
Little sarcastic there, huh? So the Lord woke up, shook the cobwebs out of his head, rubbed the sleep out of his eyes and looked around. The disciples expected His eyes to widen and fear to invade His features. But He simply got up, told the wind to quit howling and the water to settle down–and they did it! Notice, He didn’t have time to fast and pray three days. He didn’t call the prayer chain of the church, or even cite 53 verses from the Bible. He moved from a deep sleep to effective ministry because He lived in readiness. He didn’t have to ‘work Himself up,’ or clear the frogs out of His voice. He just did what needed to be done. Then two strange things happened. If the disciples were scared before, this new development left them even more shaken.
‘They were in absolute awe, staggered. ”˜Who is this, anyway?’ they asked. ”˜Wind and sea at his beck and call!’” (Mark 4:41, The Message).
Fear of the storm’s wrath was nothing in comparison with the fear that accompanied the dawning realization that this Jesus was more of a mystery than they supposed. They thought they had Him figured out, but this! Whoa! God is more than we imagine He is. He’s not just our ‘Good Buddy Up There ”or our ‘Heavenly Ace in the Hole” when things go wrong. He’s Almighty, Eternal God who deserves our love and our healthy fear. The second strange thing goes back to the grouchy idea. He got onto them. He didn’t mince words,
‘Why are you such cowards? Don’t you have any faith at all?” (verse 40, The Message).
I don’t know if that’s grouchiness or just the truth with the polite edges filed off. If I didn’t know they were on the wrong side of the thing I would be tempted to be with the disciples on this one. I mean Lord, they were having ‘near death’ experiences. Thunder crashed; wind howled and struggled to push their boat over; waves leaped over the sides trying to fill their little vessel. Lord, what did you expect them to do? Believe! Trust Him! We can forget it in the terror of the moment, but the fellow sleeping in the stern was the Son of the Living God. There was no way that boat was going down unless it was in the will of the Father. The Lord didn’t worry about it. He doesn’t want us to either. Some of you feel like you are in this boat today. ‘Another thimbleful of water and I’m fish food,’ you think. Are you remembering to trust Him? The disciples asked each other, ‘”Who is this, anyway?” they asked. “Wind and sea at his beck and call!” Remember Who He is and how much He loves you. When He says (grouchy or not), ‘Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?’ (NIV) respond by saying, ‘Lord, I trust You! I cry out to You and I know You’re not going to let me sink. You’re my unsinkable ship!’ If the Lord is in your boat, you’ll make it to the harbor.