Slow your breathing and become aware of the taking in and letting out of your breath. Focus on putting things aside so you will be open to what God is saying to you today.
Mark 4:35-41 (NRSV)
On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him. A great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”
Reading the above scripture reminds me of the song “Sailing” by Christopher Cross. He wrote, “Well, it’s not far down to paradise, at least it’s not for me. And if the wind is right you can sail away and find tranquility.” Maybe that’s what the disciples and Jesus were thinking when they left to “go across to the other side.” That’s not what happened. Far from tranquility, a storm was brewing. As the wind blew, the waves crashed and beat against the boat, causing it to tip and rock. The disciples were afraid, but Jesus slept. The disciples, thinking Jesus was unconcerned, complained. They felt alone, vulnerable. Fearing that they were facing certain death, they woke Jesus.
Ever been there? Scared to death while Jesus slept!? I thought so. Me, too. How easily, in the clutches of another crooked corner of life’s bed sheet, we forget the promise: God with us. How easily, in the fancy imaginations of our own power, we forget the reality: God is God and we are not. Jesus calmed the storm, amazing the disciples. “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” We are amazed, too. “Who is this that even cares about us?” This is Jesus—full of grace and truth, living among us. Thanks be to God!
Loving and gracious God, be with us in the storms we know and the ones we have yet to encounter. Grant us faith to see and hear that we may live in trust. Fill us with your Spirit and with the love of Jesus that we may serve our sisters and brothers and proclaim your kingdom. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Go with God.