Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Drowning on the Ocean

 by Capt

Have you ever felt lost, overwhelmed? Moments when the waves of life come crashing over you, tugging you under and throwing you around. Disoriented you are not sure which way is up, holding onto the last whispers of breath. It is hard to imagine a safe harbour when the waves are upon you, and shore seems unreachable.

We like having our feet on solid ground. There is something comforting about knowing that you can move with impunity and freedom as you will. You are the master of your own destiny, commanding your feet to walk, picking your own journey.

We like control.

Why do we grow so much more in the storms of life? Security seems to be the antagonist to our personal growth, harrying our progress and hunting our trust. Having our feet on solid ground of our own making only serves to build trust in ourselves as it seductively whispers that we are our own destiny makers.

Jesus was out on a boat with some of his disciples one evening, crossing the sea of Galilee and Jesus was naturally resting as they glided across the water. Peter and the other fishermen were right at home, checking the rigging and sharing old stories as the water rushed underneath. Until the water began to grow choppy, at first nothing for concern but growing to huge swells.

The wind whipped against their faces and the rain began to pour down upon them. A seasoned fisherman understood that this was not a time you wanted to be in the middle of the sea. Pulling the sails in, buckets out bailing water that was now crashing over the sides of the boat the panic was palpable on the boat. All hands were on deck to try to keep the boat above the water.

Except Jesus. He was sleeping.

Finally noticing this, the disciples yelled at him, one of them shaking Jesus awake. As he yawned and rubbed his eyes, they were worked into a near frenzy -- yelling at Jesus to grab a bucket and HELP. If he was only going to sleep, they were all going to die.

Jesus, in what can only be a moment appreciated rose, barely steadying himself on the mast and looked at them all with a look of fatherly disgust. "Why are you such cowards? Have you learned nothing about trust?" Jesus crawled over the disciples as they continued to bail out the boat in panic, standing at the bow of the boat and looking out at the storm, sizing it up.

You can imagine the disciples confused looks between bucket tosses as they watched Jesus not help them, but staring at a storm. He steadied himself in the boat, rising up his arms and looking to the sky Jesus said, "Silence!" The thunderstorm subdued. Jesus looked at the waves and said, "Quiet!" and the immediately pacified.

The disciples, bailing with less and less water in their buckets started to slow and look at Jesus with a mix of horror and awe as they realized what has just happened. The man they followed, their Rabbi had calmed the elements, and the boat was left on a piece of glass in the Sea. They were safe, and it was a perfect night for sailing.

I cannot speak for you, but I often feel like these disciples. I set out on a journey that God has asked me to undertake, and I find myself in a storm. My first reaction is to panic, to do what I have been trained to do and start to bail. "God, where are you when I need you?" I ask. He is in the boat with me, because this is the voyage He sent me on.

My faith is so small. I am worried about drowning on the ocean when I am safe the entire time. I need only ask.

What waves are crashing over your boat today? God is watching over you.

You can find this story in the Bible at Matthew 8:23-27, Mark 4:35-41 or Luke 8:22-25

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