As far as storms go, it is a small one in comparison to others that I recently (and not so recently weathered). I know it won’t last long, but I can still feel the wind whirling around me. Like the disciples who set out on a still Sea of Galilee, I stepped in to my day, but before long, I was engulfed with a thousand things to do and a mindset that was not feeling confident nor at peace. My heart is feeling fragile, and my list of things to do is a mile long. How am I going to get it all done? Why does my list have to be so long? I wish I could just quiet my mind and my heart and get through this all!
Bailing. Frantically bailing. Fearing. That’s what I am doing this morning. Bucket full by bucket full I try to toss out the excess “stuff,” -- outside stuff and inside stuff -- and as soon as I toss some out, more comes in. I am weary. Tossed about . Worn out. Having a hard time organizing and seeing what to do next.
Perhaps it is because I am studying the story about when Jesus calms the storm in Mark that the visual imagery is my grid of thinking this week. I can relate to the big storms of life blowing in without notice, and of late, I could probably write a book about it (maybe I will). Big storms. Little storms. Long lasting storms. Short-acting storms. Life is full of them. I am just not a huge fan of storms.
Rocking and reeling and overwhelmed, we find ourselves, like the disciples, out of control. We try to bail ourselves out. We try to find a solid footing. We try to manage the boat – our boat, and meanwhile we are heaving and hoeing and getting sick to our stomachs. We feel swamped.
In the story, the disciples panic (ever do that?). Jesus is sleeping on a cushion in the stern of the boat and they wake Him, saying, “Don’t you care if I drown?”
Ugh. If I had a dollar for every time I have caught those words slithering out of my mouth. It’s humbling. We doubt God’s tender care. We forget that He is present and what He has promised us. We doubt and we fear and we panic.
Did Jesus know that the storm was going to kick-up? Of course He did. This was another opportunity for the disciples to learn about Who He was and to trust Him. Jesus goes on to calm this storm and reveals His power to them -- and to us.
Jesus may or may not calm our storms – but He is the calm in the storm, and I know that to be true. I need to remember that which I have learned from Him and about Him. Yes, I am feeling engulfed, overwhelmed, wiped out, washed over - even fearing, but I know that Jesus is present in my boat, and so instead of panicking, I’m going to reach out and grab hold of Him. Instead of frantically trying to bail, I am going to seek Him first and trust that He will help me manage the mini-storm that He has allowed in to my life, today. The one He has allowed to teach me and to strengthen me. He knows where I am at and how I am feeling, and dear reader, He knows all about you today, too. Trust Him in the storm.