I am a fixer. I have a knack for seeing problems and coming to a quick and ready solution. I enjoy puzzles and love an intellectual challenge. It is the way my mind works. This is an asset at work and a benefit in crises. But it is not very helpful in relationships. People aren’t problems to be fixed, and, in fact, when they have emotional or spiritual problems very rarely can another person fix them. That puzzle-solving intellect is of no use. Yet so often I still try.
Recently, though, I heard the familiar account of Jesus calming the storm on the Sea of Galilee. It’s so familiar it usually fails to engage my attention, but this time I heard something I never noticed before. When Jesus is awakened in the boat during the storm, and His disciples are crying for help, He asks them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” And it is what He does next that so captured me: He simply calms the storm.
It’s what he doesn’t do that also grabbed me. Jesus did not lecture. He did not instruct. He did not rebuke or cajole or convince or finagle. In short, Jesus, the perfect teacher with infinite wisdom and complete divine power, does not “fix” his disciples in the same way I would try to do if I saw a shortcoming. He simply proves again that He is the object of faith by doing something beyond the capacity of any mere man.
Why, then, do I, someone who couldn’t stop a summer thunderstorm, attempt to fix others with my words and wisdom when Jesus, with His ability to manipulate nature to exemplify His power and Lordship, wouldn’t? I have no such power, yet I seek to exercise it in the manipulation of others all the time. And when I do it, it is just as effective as my standing in the prow of a boat and hollering into the wind, “Calm down!”
What Jesus did was precisely what I should do: Make clear who the One with power is, the object of faith. My faith cannot be in me and my own intellect and knowledge, it must be in the calmer of storms. And then, and only then, can I point others to Him as the true fixer of their problems.