When our son John was a boy, he had a special pillow called his “comfy pillow.” He took it to bed each night and fell asleep with his arms wrapped around it. He hugged it while he sat in the family room and watched TV. Very soon the pillow became a dirty gray color, and food stains decorated its surface. It also absorbed an unpleasant number of odors. His siblings teased him but this dirty, misshapen pillow still offered him comfort.
In Luke 8:22f, Jesus was standing on the shore of the Sea of Galilee and told his disciples, “Let’s go over to the other side.” They climbed into their boat and were already in the middle of the sea when a fierce storm arose. The gale tossed the small boat side to side. Frothy waves crashed over the bow threatening to sink the vessel. Like a writhing sea monster, the waters lifted the boat high on the crest of a wave one moment only to drop it deep into a trough the next. Dark clouds shrouded the moonlit sky. The disciples shouted in terror, even experienced fishermen like Peter and John. They turned to Jesus for help and found him, according to Mark’s account, sound asleep, resting his weary head on a “comfy” pillow in the back of the boat.
“Master!” they cried as they shook him awake, “Master, don’t you care that we are about to die?”
Jesus lifted his head from the cushion. Surveying the storm-tossed waves, he then looked at his frightened disciples and said, “Where is your faith?” If he ordered them to go over to the other side, didn’t they believe he would get them safely to their destination?
So often when we read this story we focus on the storm, but today pause and think about that pillow. Who placed it there? Before the storm ever hit, God had already provided Jesus with a soft support for his head. God anticipated that Jesus would need rest, even in the midst of a raging tempest.
This year, some of us may experience the gentle calm of a warm manger scene, but others of us may feel trapped in the throes of a storm. We are tossed to and fro by circumstances far beyond our control. But in the midst of the storm, look around you. God knows his children need rest in times of storm. Search your boat. Where has God already provided a “comfy pillow” for you? We can relax and lean on him while he calms the waves around us!