When the storm is rocking your boat

Thoughts on Matthew 8:23-27

robson-hatsukami-morgan-134756OK, I’ll get in the boat with you. A boat is not my comfort zone. I’m a landlubber, never really lived near the sea. Water is good for drinking and bathing, not for transport, but I’ll risk it to be with you. The boat is small, there’s only room for a few of us. I’m grateful to be counted among the ones who care enough about you to leave behind a comfortable and secure lifestyle and to let the past and identifying relationships have no power over me. You have searched me and admitted me to your fellowship.

And what the heck? I told you I didn’t want to get in the boat. Look at those storm clouds building, the wind rising, the raindrops falling. This little boat cannot withstand the torment of such a storm. We are rocking, water is coming over the sides, there is no hope, even the fishermen among us are afraid. And where are you? Sleeping! Sleeping? Really? How can you sleep through such a tempest? I’m dying here, don’t you care?

jean-pierre-brungs-36491Jesus, wake up, save me, I’m doomed.

Debby, you’ve trusted me with your lifestyle, you’ve trusted me with your identity, will you trust me with your life? I purposely invited you onto this boat to show you were your trust in me is small, where you doubt my power and my love. You bravely entered this place of fear and you wisely came to me when it seemed overwhelming. Trust me now.

His looking into my eyes, speaking these words into my soul, settles the storm raging within me. What else can I do but trust you. I’m glad to be with you, even if it means death.

And then you stand up and tell the wind and the sea to quiet down, your words restrain the storm. You speak and it is still.

Thank you and amen.

Dear friend, if your boat is rocking, run to Jesus with your fear and accusations against him. Let him tenderly show you the ways your trust has failed. His nearness and words will calm you and the storm.

With you on the journey,

Debby

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Where is your faith?

Jesus can calm the storms in your life.

Jesus can calm the storms in your life.

Luke 8:22-25

Have you ever noticed how much easier it is to believe good for another than it is for yourself? You can speak earnestly and sometimes eloquently about God’s great love for your friend; about how God’s plan for her life is good; about how God will provide for and protect her in every situation. But it’s a little bit harder to trust these precious truths when you’re the one who doubts your value; the one who fears the future; the one whose life is threatened.

Well, you are not alone. The disciples were (literally) in the same boat.

They had witnessed Jesus casting out demons from the man in the synagogue; they were present when Jesus forgave and healed the paralyzed man whose friends had lowered him through the roof; they were walking along with him when they entered Nain and Jesus brought back from the dead the widow’s son. They were not unacquainted with Jesus’ power over life and death. But they had never been the ones who were in need of one of his miraculous deeds. Up to their ears in water, fear pushed out faith and trust. “Master, we are perishing!” You can hear the panic in their voices.

Jesus responds with action, rebuking the wind and the waves and then an appropriate question, “Where is your faith?” Remember when I cured the leper, when just my word brought the centurion’s slave back from the edge of death, when the anonymous woman touched my robe and her bleeding stopped? You know I have power. Practice trusting what you know is true, this is the essence of faith.

“Faith is better understood as a verb than as a noun, as a process than as a possession. It is on-again-off-again rather than once-and-for-all. Faith is not being sure where you’re going, but going anyway. A journey without maps. Paul Tillich said that doubt isn’t the opposite of faith; it is an element of faith.” – Frederick Buechner

When fear arises, remember God’s power to overcome the raging storm, even in your life.