“And a furious storm of wind [of hurricane proportions] arose, and the waves kept beating into the boat so that it was already becoming filled.” (Mark 4:37)
I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t have wanted to be a rider in the boat above!
First of all, I’m not a very good swimmer. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE the ocean, but I don’t like treading it without some sort of flotation device.
Second of all, hurricane force winds can rip a little fishing boat to shreds.
And third of all, I’m sure the air was full of electricity, and I don’t relish the thought of being struck by lightning.
If I were a character in the story above I would fear for my life. I admit I would assume the worst.
Corinne, my wife, and I once stayed in a high-rise in New Hartford Connecticut. On the 17th floor, we had settled in for the night, under covers and enjoying an episode of Law and Order SVU. At approximately 11p.m. a voice from the speaker above filled our room.
“Attention, there may be a fire in the building. Please exit your room, in an orderly fashion and take the stairway down to the first floor, …there is no need to panic.”
Corinne and I proceeded to the closest exit and began our descent with hundreds of other guests. We had a long way to go to reach the bottom. The 17th floor turned into the 16th and the 16th turned into the 15th, and with each passing floor, the fear inside of me increased. My mind filled with pictures of people jumping to their deaths from the World Trade Center. As I continued down the long stairway, I heard the sirens from the firetrucks below. At that moment I made the assumption that this was it…I was going to die. In my mind, I decided that I too would jump rather than burn.
Obviously, I didn’t die that night. When we finally reached the bottom, we discovered it was a false alarm and were directed back to our rooms. Once again in our room, it took me a while to calm down. When I wondered how the episode of Law and Order ended, I knew I was back to normal.
It is so easy for my mind to automatically jump to the worst scenarios.
Maybe you have this problem as well.
The men in the boat from Mark’s story felt the same way and I don’t blame them! The story goes, “…but soon a fierce storm arose. High waves began to break into the boat until it was nearly full of water.” But Jesus was in the boat. The frightened men ran to Jesus and cried, “…don’t you even care that we are going to drown?” Jesus “rebuked the wind and said to the water, “Quiet down!” Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm. Then Jesus looked at the men, I believe lovingly, and said, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still not have faith in me?”
This morning, for my personal devotion, I read an article called, Facing Unexpected Storms, from one of my many Joyce Meyer books. She made the point that “…not all storms are in the forecast…” Her advice, “Don’t get distracted by the storms of life. Stay focused and do what you need to do whether it is easy or difficult. The more we use our faith, the stronger it will become.”
Her words comforted my heart and reminded me to do what I could and to not fret over what I couldn’t. Whether it’s easy or difficult…only one step at a time.
Remember, Friends,…Jesus is in the boat!