There’s a story in Luke 8 about a napping Jesus. With his disciples, he decides to cross the Sea of Galilee (which is more like a medium sized lake) in their fishing boat. Jesus falls asleep. Then, a squall makes the water rough enough to begin swamping their boat, and his professional fisherman disciples begin to fear for their lives. Amazingly, Jesus is still sleeping. They wake him up crying, “Master, Master, we are perishing.” He gets up, and tells the wind and the waves to cool it–and it instantly becomes calm. Now the disciples are afraid of Him, “saying to one another, ‘Who is this, that he commands even winds and water, and they obey him?'”

If we flip to Mark 14, this time we find Jesus wide awake–praying in the Garden of Gethsemane the night he was betrayed. Three times he checks on his disciples (whom he told to stay awake and pray so that they won’t fall into temptation), and all three times he finds them napping.

Two observations:

We’re awake when He’s sleeping. Consumed with worry and fear–forgetful of his Mastery over all of Creation.

We’re asleep when He’s awake. Lulled into inattention when we ought to be vigilant in prayer. Growing in wisdom requires better discernment about when and how we apply our emotional energy.

What to do?

The first place to start is to pray–we must acknowledge our tendency to fear when we ought to be trusting, and our distraction and malaise when we ought to be paying attention. The second thing to do is to worship the One who does this perfectly for us. The Napping Christ is my rest and peace in the midst of the storm. The Watchful Christ prays for me when I am apathetic toward real danger. Now, with Him carrying us, we are ready to nap–or not–with wisdom.