I started writing this on the first morning of vacation. It’s early morning actually, and it is my favorite time of day. No one is awake, the silence fills my soul like a balm, and the lake is smooth as glass.
Big contrast to the way my soul felt all week. My book selections for the week are a good indication of my need for quiet, no, it was stillness. A longing for stillness.
I opened my Bible to read the short and familiar account found in Mark 4:35-41. We read these stories of storms as they bring needed reminders for those times we feel overwhelmed.
After a long day of teaching, Jesus approaches His disciples and says, “Let us go over to the other side” (verse 35, NASB).
Jesus invited Himself into their boat, for they are experienced fishermen. It was their livelihood before to following Jesus. They took Him along with them, into their boat, and then the events took a turn.
A fierce gale of wind came and the waves were breaking over the boat, meaning the boat began to take on water.
They find Jesus asleep on a cushion for He had made Himself comfortable for the ride. They awaken Him with this question, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” (verse 38, NASB)
We might ask that same question in a similar way, “Lord, don’t you care that I feel overwhelmed?”
Sitting looking at these few verses, it seems like such a silly question to ask when He was the One who initiated the boat ride. He was the One who invited Himself into their boat. And … He is the One who is omniscient.
We forget that at times – omniscient – He knows all things about everything. There is not a single occurrence which can take place apart from His all knowing. Nothing escapes His eye.
Of course Jesus cared. He invited them into the boat, fully aware of the storm ahead. He invited them along for the ride to bring a lesson for when, not if, future storms would come.
And they are lessons for us as well. What do we need to get through challenging days that cause us to feel overwhelmed?
- We need to remember the truths upon which we have built our foundation. It can be the most basic truth – “Jesus loves me, this I know.”
- We need to see from a different perspective. We shift our gaze so that we see life through a spiritual lens. Instead of asking, “Why?”, we might ask, “What am I to learn from this?” or “What do I need to do differently?”
- We need wisdom beyond ourselves. Left on our own, we will think we are wise and knowing. We need God to provide guidance and discernment to forge ahead.
- We need strength to endure. We can get weary and worn, and will run on empty apart from God who alone can supply the needed strength for each challenge.
We know storms, difficulties, and challenges will come into our lives. But somehow in the moments when our days are smooth, we forget we will still experience overwhelming days.
Jesus wanted them to know, through experience, that He is always with them in the storm. He did not leave them to navigate the storm on their own. He did not leave them without support or help. In fact, He made sure they knew, no understood, all they ever needed was Him with them. His Presence is all we need in any storm.
That day, Jesus was in the stern with them. When they came to Him with their fear, He got up and spoke to the wind and sea, “Hush, be still” (verse 39).
“And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm.”
As I fix my gaze out on the lake, I see the fog lifting as the day breaks. I return to thinking about the truth our foundation is built upon. The words find their way into my thoughts:
“There is a truth older than the agesThere is a promise of things yet to come There is one born for our salvation Jesus …There is a name I call in times of troubleThere is a song that comforts in the night There is a voice that calms the storm that rages He is Jesus, Jesus.”(from Jesus by Chris Tomlin)
Last week Jennifer Ross shared two posts and each one brought needed words of encouragement and comfort and wisdom. During the week, both posts stayed opened on my computer for days. You can read “How to Deal with Betrayal” HERE and “Pilgrims on a Pilgrimage” HERE.
Come, sit a spell. Bring your coffee, your posts, and your thoughts. If you link up, kindly visit those who have drawn up a seat around you.