This is, as they say, a passage of two halves. Sometimes the headings we put into our bibles, dividing up the text, aren’t always that helpful, and this might be one occasion. What we see here is the beauty and the beast of our discipleship.
First the beauty: time spent in the presence of Jesus. What a lovely phrase this is: ‘when he was alone with his own disciples, he explained everything.’ (v34) What any of us would give for that kind of bible study, with the Saviour himself! It would be life-changing…. wouldn’t it?
Fast forward a couple of hours: ‘Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?’ The warm glow of time with Jesus faded rather quickly for the disciples, didn’t it, as the waves got bigger and the heart rate quickened. But that’s what makes them such good examples: they are so like us! Take heart – Jesus is a Saviour for real people.
If you’re anything like me, it doesn’t take very long to slide from the mountain-top of exultation to the valley of despair. I can praise God in the morning, and throw up my hands later in the day. And Jesus pinpoints that the issue is not the danger they were in, but how quickly they doubted God’s goodness and love: ‘Don’t you care…?’
It can be hard to trust God in the tough times. Perhaps hardest of all to trust his complete goodness, in all circumstances. And we may not see the immediate answer in our lives that the disciples did: but our God does not change. He is good, and always good. He loves us, and still does. And may this loving God grant us grace to keep trusting him, whatever we face at present.