No one at the hunting camp wanted to sleep in the same room with Bubba because he snored so loud. The other guys drew straws each day to see who had to bunk with him.
The fellow who drew the first short straw came to breakfast the next morning with his eyes bloodshot and his hair frizzed.
“It was awful,” he reported. “I didn’t sleep a wink. With all the snoring, I just sat up all night and watched Bubba sleep.”
After the second night, another of the guys came to breakfast with his eyes bloodshot and his hair frizzed.
“It was terrible,” he reported. “I didn’t sleep a wink. A chainsaw isn’t as loud as Bubba’s snoring. I just sat up all night and watched him sleep.”
The third night, a big dude with a long beard and lots of tattoos had drawn the short straw. He came to breakfast the next morning all refreshed after a great night’s sleep.
“How did you do it,” the others wanted to know.
“I just walked in there, gave Bubba a goodnight kiss and patted him on the behind,” the big man said. “Bubba just sat up all night and watched me sleep.”
You may remember from your Bible reading a time when the disciples were sitting up wide awake while Jesus slept. Instead of the sound of snoring, it was a violent storm that had them awake. The boat was being tossed about. Waves were crashing in.
“And his disciples came to him and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was great calm” (Matthew 8:24-26).
You know, there was no safer place for the disciples to be than in a boat with Jesus, even in the midst of a storm. What could we possibly have to fear when Jesus is with us?
But we can all probably identify with the disciples. We’ve all spent sleepless nights up worrying about one thing or another. Storms come into our lives sooner or later. When they do, we need to trust that Jesus is there for us.
In 1735, the famous preacher John Wesley was on the same ship with a group of Moravian immigrants who were in the middle of a worship service when a violent storm hit. The Moravians continued praising God throughout, even with waves crashing across the deck.
Wesley wrote in his diary that he was terrified, but the Moravians weren’t at all afraid. Their faith, shining in that storm, had a profound impact on Wesley. He wanted what they had.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all of us so fully trusted in God that we could worship during the storms that come into our lives and that we could lie down and sleep instead of pacing the floors with worry.
You probably know lots of believers who rest comfortably in the Lord no matter what’s going on around them … unless they’re in a hunting camp with a snoring Bubba.
I went down to a deer camp in Arkansas in November to hunt with a great group of fellows. Whether or not they snored, I couldn’t tell you. I fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow. But there was some evidence that I might have snored, because several of those guys showed up to breakfast with bloodshot eyes and frizzled hair.
Roger Alford is pastor of South Fork Baptist Church. Reach him at 502-514-6857 or firstname.lastname@example.org.