“I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship.” ―Louisa May Alcott
I have this feeling that we are rapidly becoming a society of adrenaline junkies. You only need to observe how we behave on our roads to understand how fast and furious our lives have become. With careers to pursue, deadlines to meet, schedules to keep, obligations to fulfil, emails, voicemails and cellphones to operate, we are overloaded and pushed to the limit. And it’s interesting how we respond to situations when our lives are on a knife-edge.
There’s a captivating story told in the gospels of Mathew, Mark and Luke about a day in the lives of Jesus and his disciples. It was an extremely busy and long day ministering to an immense crowd of people and confronting skeptical religious leaders. I don’t think the team had any tea or lunch break. By evening, they were exhausted, thirsty and hungry. They got into a boat, and Jesus instructed,
“Let us cross over to the other side of the lake.”
It had been a cool evening and the disciples, some of them experienced seamen, hoisted the sail easily and they began the three-kilometre trip to the other side. Jesus found a place at the stern where he slumped onto a pillow and immediately fell into deep sleep.
Somewhere in the middle of the lake, something happened, rather unexpectedly. A windstorm came down on the lake. The boat was buffeted by violent waves and water gushed in. Crisis.
Are there times when things have happened suddenly, seemingly from nowhere, and turned your placid life into a storm-tossed, angry, raging sea? I mean, the kind of storm that puts your life, career, family, health, relationships or dreams in serious jeopardy?
“Master, Master, we are perishing,” the disciples cried out.
Not too hopeful, right? In fact, this was a statement of eminent doom. But who would blame them under the circumstances? They were tired from a punishing work schedule; they were overwhelmed by the storms; their lives were at risk; they had families to worry about; and, and…
However, there’s an important detail that they seem to have forgotten: Jesus had told them “Let’s cross over to the other side,” not, “Let’s go sink in the middle of the sea.” So, when he woke up, he listened, focused his eyes on the tempestuous sea and calmed the waters. He then turned to the disciples and asked,
“Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
Next time you face a storm and the voice inside you says that you’re headed to the bottom of the sea, remember the alternative voice of the one who said,
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” –Jeremiah 29:11
Copyright ©2014 David Waweru