Asleep in the Storm

“Who shut within doors the sea, when it burst out of the womb; when I made the clouds its garment and thick darkness its swaddling bands? When I set limits for it and fastened the bar of its door, and said: Thus far shall you come but no farther, and here shall your proud waves be stilled!” PS 107:23-24

“A violent squall came up and waves were breaking over the boat, so that it was already filling up. Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a cushion. They woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” He woke up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Quiet! Be still!” The wind ceased and there was great calm. Then he asked them, “Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?” They were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this whom even wind and sea obey?” MK 4:35-41

Storms signify difficulty. Storms make us run and seek cover, dodging the rain and lightning. And yet, what’s better than listening to the rain on the roof, thunder crashing in the distance? There are CDs and even online videos of recorded storms to help you sleep.

What is the significance of sleeping through storms? Perhaps, apart from the beautiful music of thunder and rain, there is a sense of the virtue of finding deep peace amidst the squall. But it takes it to a new level when one considers metaphorically sleeping OUTSIDE in the middle of a storm. That is an act of faith.

After all, the biggest miracle of the story above, of Jesus in the boat, is not the fact that he calmed the wind and sea. It is that he was there, sleeping, in the midst of the fray.

Why is it significant that he is sleeping? He is there, that is enough. The apostles are safe with him, whether he is shaking his hand at the wind, or closing his eyes in repose. Also, he teaches that if we can metaphorically, and literally, sleep soundly through our anxieties and fears and trust in God, it can be as profoundly peaceful an experience as listening to rain falling on the roof: sensing the storm’s closeness but knowing we need fear no evil.

One thought on “Asleep in the Storm

  1. Storms share a message to mankind. A storm represents an unfreezing and a disruption in what was once stable and comfortable to one who witnesses such change. I think a message here would be no matter how devastating events occur in man’s environment, the solemnity that one feels fettered by is liberated with survival, strength, endurance and most of all faith that God will always be with us on our journey. Just open your heart and love him.

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Tchaikovsky - The Storm, Op. 76 (Overture in E minor)

Christ in the Storm - Rembrandt
Christ in the Storm – Rembrandt


All that matters is to be at one with the living God
to be a creature in the house of the God of Life.

Like a cat asleep on a chair
at peace, in peace
and at one with the master of the house, with the mistress,
at home, at home in the house of the living,
sleeping on the hearth, and yawning before the fire.

Sleeping on the hearth of the living world
yawning at home before the fire of life
feeling the presence of the living God
like a great reassurance
a deep calm in the heart
a presence
as of the master sitting at the board
in his own and greater being,
in the house of life.

— D. H. Lawrence