On Sundays we are working our way through the story of Joseph. One of the prevailing themes to the story is how God is able to use our circumstances to fulfill his redemptive purpose, no matter how difficult things get. Joseph endured abandonment, slavery, false accusations and prison as a part of God’s plan of redemption for Joseph’s family and ultimately humanity.
What was equally incredible, was Joseph’s consistency throughout the story. He persevered through each step of the story with integrity and remained faithful, no matter how chaotic his circumstances became.
Joseph’s response to his circumstances has repeatedly brought me back to another similar story.
In Matthew 8:23-27 we find a story of Jesus calming the storm.
The story can serve as such a relief to those who find themselves in the middle of a storm - whether career-wise, financial, spiritual or emotional. God has the power to calm even the mightiest of storms.
But there is a layer to this story that is often overlooked. At the very moment that the wind was blowing, the boat was being tossed in the waves and water was beginning to swamp the boat, Jesus was there - asleep. Now, you need to understand, these boats were not large by any means. It wasn’t as though Jesus was holed up in the presidential suite of a cruise ship.
In fact, in the 1980’s archaeologists unearthed a first century fishing boat at the Sea of Galilee. The boat was a mere 27 feet in length and did not have a cabin or any other similar features. To be in the boat meant you were exposed to the elements.
That is what makes Jesus’s response to the storm so remarkable. He slept. In fact, he slept so well, the disciples had to go and wake him up when the boat was being swamped with water. When he finally did wake up, his response was also remarkable. He rebuked them by saying, “Why are you so afraid, O you of little faith.”
In that moment we learn about where the disciples’ comfort zone is and where Jesus finds his. The disciples’ felt most comfortable when the circumstances in life lined up and everything was safe and going well. Jesus, on the other hand, was at peace when He was found in and with God. For the disciples, fear was always right around the corner. For Jesus, He knew God was in control and weathered the storm.
How they reacted to the circumstances around them was a direct result of where they found their comfort zone. So the question for each of us is, where is your comfort zone?