It had been a really long day. Dusty, tired, achey, Jesus had walked miles, preached all day and everywhere he went, he was mobbed by people wanting more, more, more, help, healing, hope.…absolutely anything he could give them.
I suspect on the Myers Briggs scale, Jesus would have been an introvert. He gave out a lot but recharged his batteries with alone time, or more specifically alone time with God. Which is why on this day, he climbed into a boat, set it to sail and then swiftly fell asleep.
And then, out of the blue, one hell of a storm kicked up. I’m imagining here that as the waves slapped against the wooden planks of the boat, rivets started to unrivet and water began gushing and sloshing into the hull, that the people on board began to lose it. It’s a little like that moment on a plane when you hit severe turbulence. There’s a point at which, outwardly brave, you realise your knuckles are white from gripping the armrest and then someone somewhere starts to cry. Well, on this boat, everyone was wailing, panicking, clinging to the edges. Would they make it back alive? And WHERE is Jesus? WHERE IS HE? Why’s he so quiet? Where has he GONE?
Who hasn’t said that out loud at some point? Where are you God? Why have you let this happen? Something happens that you weren’t expecting – an illness, a death, a loss, a truly mind-numbing piece of news?
Recently, several people I know have been clinging to the edge of the boat, while life has thrown them around. There’s been huge times in my life too where I’ve looked about and said, ‘OK God…what IS going on this time? What are you doing? Where is this going?’
And each time I’ve thought that, I’ve been reminded that during the storm, Jesus slept. Not just a light, wee nap, mind, but by all accounts, a deep, fitful sleep that he eventually had to be properly woken up from.
I can only conclude that Jesus could sleep so well, because he had complete and total security in the One who controlled the storm. He knew Him by name, He knew what He was capable of and that nothing could ever snatch him away from the safety of the Father’s hand. He must have known it to the core of his core – he’d be ok.
I think (speaking for self here), often when we walk smack into a hurricane, we think, ‘uh oh, God did not see this one coming…He’s not going to pick up the pieces this time…’ When contrary to all that, the Bible is jam-packed full of promises that God did see it coming, does understand, will help. And though he never for a second promised us an easy ride, he did promise to give us peace when we ask for it. It’s just that so often, we forget to ask.
Getting and feeling peace is not always a sudden event though, but often more a constant repetition of rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat. Asking for God’s help, rinse and repeat. Re-reading all that God has said, rinse and repeat. Sometimes it’s instant, other times it creeps up on us and ten minutes later, nothing much has physically changed, but we just know, like Jesus in the boat, that we’ll be ok. That it (whatever your ‘it’ is) will be ok. Even if by earth’s standards, it’s not ok, you’ll still be ok.
Because that’s what this journey is all about; peace in the middle of the toughest storms. The kind of peace that makes pretty much no sense, considering the circumstances, but it’s still there.
Our job is to mostly accept it and then keep on practicing, over and over again…rinse and repeat. God, help me. God, give me strength. God, remind me of your promises.
“I am leaving you with a gift- peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” (John 14:27)
This means that whatever happens, or whatever doesn’t happen, we know deep down, that we will be ok.