Then Jesus got into the boat and started across the lake with his disciples. Suddenly, a fierce storm struck the lake, with waves breaking into the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”
Jesus responded, “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” Then he got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly there was a great calm.
The disciples were amazed. “Who is this man?” they asked. “Even the winds and waves obey him!”
Somedays I forget that even though I can do things on my own, that isn’t how God intended for me to live. I read this passage from Matthew 8, where these disciples go to Jesus, and Jesus says they have “so little faith.” It makes me wonder why he said that, to be honest. I mean, they went to him thinking he must be able to do something. And yet he still announces they are of little faith. Why is that?
I think the answer is in Matthew 4. Read this:
As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen.
Jesus’ disciples were fishermen. They had spent their entire lives in boats. They knew how to handle a storm. In fact, the sea that Simon and Andrew were found on, the sea of Galilee, is known for its storms.
Due to its low-lying position in the rift valley, surrounded by hills, the sea is prone to sudden violent storms.
So these disciples knew what to do when a storm hit suddenly. Throwing their belongings overboard, bringing down the sails, tying lines; they had the knowledge and ability it would take to get them through the storm. One can only assume then that they had gone ahead and done all of those things. They did everything in their capacity to take control of the situation. Then, once they had come to their end, they went to Jesus.
So when Jesus says “You have so little faith!” he isn’t saying it because they’re afraid of a storm. It’s because they waited until they physically could not do it on their own before they came to their Lord.
How many times do we do this today?
For myself, I know that I am a talented musician. I know it does not take me long to learn a new song, and it is not difficult for me to lead worship or play in front of people. I am gifted. Sometimes, though, I forget that before I use my abilities, I need to come to God and say “God, help me.” We have faith when we come to God before we come to our end.