Sunday, June 21, 2009
When the Rain won't Quit
"A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped." Mark 4:37
It has persisted for too many days. We have had too much rain and it is making people surly. I spent a few days at my Mom's house this week. She lives less than a block from the ocean and I was awake one night because of a terrible storm. The rain battered the windows, the wind howled through the old house, everything shook and the waves crashed like roaring thunder all night long. People out on boats were not safe and I felt the terror of those who fear drowning. Even on land, after so many days of rain, it is a drowning feeling when the storm begins again. I have felt worn down but all of the rain and the darkness, the wind and the storms. There is no where that feels safe and everything is slippery with mold and mildew. We have gone through gallons of bleach to make surfaces safe to walk on, and yet the rain persists. We might get one day of broken sunlight and then it begins again. People who have faced storm after storm get weary, and some of us are weary.
Jesus was on a boat with men who lived on the water. They were not the sort to easily panic. Their entire lives had been reflected in water and on boats. Their livelihoods were tied to the wind and the weather and they were wise about it all from years of practice. And yet, they were worn down. They had spent all of their coping skills and found themselves at wit's end. They were tired and wanted to sleep, but they feared for their lives. They had nothing left and the one who could save then seemed unconcerned as he slept comfortably as their world came to an end. Sometimes even the most skilled and the most faithful can lose heart after being worn down, day after day. They woke Jesus up and insisted that he save them. They didn't know how, but they knew they could not save themselves.
I cannot save myself, either from the challenges and conflicts that arise in my life, or from the days when my energy and spirit are spent. None of us can. But the good news is that Jesus is right there all along and we need to ask him for help. We need to know our limits and call on God in prayer. We are not ignored but tended, God in Jesus Christ in in the room, on the boat with us and in the center of all our storms. No matter the mold and the drear, God is with us. I want to remember to cry out and ask for help. I want to remember that this faith is a gift and that love is also given freely by God. To open my heart to receive and end to the storm, I need but cry out in prayer. May we all take courage when we are completely worn out and not able to sleep with worry and fear that God is with us. Jesus answered the disciples when they asked for help. May we have courage this day to act like disciples and ask for the help we need in the midst of all our storms.