Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Rough Seas

On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?”And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”

I got a call the other night from a friend who was telling me about a long term relationship which ended. She was terrified for the future and she described the feeling like she was perishing. All that she counted had now changed, she doubts herself, wonders about her choices and is afraid for her survival. She is experiencing rough seas and no simple words of comfort stop the wind and the rain. Very few of us have experienced a near death experience in a boat, but many of us have felt the panic of horrible personal storms and rough seas. It can feel as if God is asleep in some back room of our lives, at least ignoring what is happening to us, and at the worst, allowing it to happen. God neither ignores us nor permits hurt, but we can feel isolated and alone, separated from God in these times.

Today, I want to remember that the disciples woke up Jesus. They did not passively accept their fate but rather woke Jesus up. They told him the real circumstances and their fears and he brought forth a great calm. Today, I want to remember to pray in everything, to take all of my storms and challenges to Jesus. I want to remember that Jesus is in the boat with me and invite him to show me his power in the face of adversity, great and small. None of us is strong enough to face these storms alone, but with Christ Jesus on our side we are never alone. May we all invite Jesus into our storms today, expecting calm and a way to safe harbor. And may our calm and safe harbors, when arrived at, be shared with others who are in such desperate need.

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