How many times have you been in a precarious situation, but the person in charge was not concerned? So you took your lead from them and decided that there was no reason for alarm?
I grew up in the same area where I now live. My parents moved away the day I graduated from high school, and I was out of the area at various schools for over a decade. I moved back when I was given the opportunity to work at CCEF. When my wife and I began our house search, I remembered that a neighbor from my hometown had gone into real estate sales, so we tracked him down and asked him to help us. We ended up making an offer on the second house we saw, and it was accepted. It all seemed quite easy, other than the 16% interest rate.
But then, with the closing only three days away, Sheri and I were informed that our down payment would not arrive on time. Earlier, we had loaned money to other family members, and they did not know if they could get the repayment to us fast enough. So we called our friendly agent and he said, “Oh, that’s not a problem.” Since I knew nothing about how these things worked, I assumed that the bank would be pleased to receive the money whenever it was convenient. Our agent was unconcerned; I was unconcerned. I was simply impressed by how these banks were so flexible.
Two hours before the scheduled closing, we received a wire transfer from the family members' bank. All was as it should be. But I was curious. During the selling and buying process, it seemed important that we have the deposit in hand. On the way out of the settlement meeting, I asked, “What would have happened if the money hadn’t arrived?”
“You probably would have lost the house,” he replied, “but I knew it would come. I remember how your parents were praying people, and I knew they would be praying for you.”
Suddenly, a house closing became an amazing story. Our agent, who had no faith, believed that my parents did have faith. I suspect my parents had prayed for him more than a few times, and he knew that things happened when they prayed.
Our real estate agent, at least in this situation, outdistanced Jesus’ disciples.
There arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he [Jesus] was asleep. And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” (Matt 8:24–25)
Perhaps the disciples did not take their cues from the “person in charge” because they weren’t so sure that Jesus was in charge, at least not of a violent storm. He had already taken them on a leisurely walk through a meadow and explained why they shouldn’t worry.
Do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. (Matt 6:25)
Jesus is not worried—ever. Why? Because God, his Father (and their Father, and ours), is in heaven. He loves us more than he loves the birds and flowers. And everything is his. If there are any anxieties to be had, they are about tomorrow, and those anxieties are his to deal with, too. He is already into the details of the troubles of tomorrow.
Jesus’ healing of the sick and blind demonstrated his jurisdiction over the human body, but bad weather was something else. Whatever the case, the disciples were not taking any cues from Jesus, even though he is never worried about what is happening as though events are out of his jurisdiction.
There are, it seems, reasons to worry. Some of his disciples would live homeless and hand-to-mouth. To be penniless is as dangerous as a severe storm. But our God does not worry. His face toward you reveals his rest and favor. During the turbulence of life, his face also reveals his compassion and care. And the word is out. Apparently, Jesus’ reputation has traveled to people who don’t know him well (like twentieth-century real estate agents), and even they occasionally rest and do not worry because the triune God has power and authority over all things.