Still on the Boat
As evening fell, Jesus said to his disciples, "Let's cross to the other side of the lake."
So they took him just as he was and started out, leaving the crowds behind (though other boats followed). But soon a terrible storm arose. High waves began to break into the boat until it was nearly full of water and about to sink. Jesus was asleep at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. Frantically they wakened him, shouting, "Teacher, don't you even care that we are all about to drown?"
Then he rebuked the wind and said to the sea, "Quiet down!" And the wind fell, and there was a great calm!
And he asked them, "Why were you so fearful? Don't you even yet have confidence in me?"
And they were filled with awe and said among themselves, :Who is this man, that even the winds and seas obey him?"
Mark 4: 35-41 (TLB)
When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown!" Isaiah 43:2 (TLB)
Jennifer Prince Kingsley is from Alabama. She was preparing for an entrance exam. She had failed the exam the previous year, and she was very stressed. She was not sure what to do. Her mom called Jennifer one day and realized she was scared. She reminded her of the story in our reading today. She said, "Jenny, Jesus may have appeared to be sleeping, but he was still on the boat!" With Jesus on the boat with his disciples, there was no chance that they would have drowned! That reminded Jenny that whatever she may be facing, she was never alone. Christ was with her and would see her through.
Jennifer has often felt unsure of what to do in fearful situations. Sometimes it feels like Jesus is sleeping when she is in a storm. But she has learned that he is still on the boat with her even if he is silent in the moment. It may seem like she was going to drown, but Jesus was with her. Since coming to this realization, Jennifer has failed more exams and passed others; she has taken a few risks and second-guessed herself a million times. But through it all she has never forgotten that Jesus is still on the boat with her.
Prayer: Dear Lord, sometimes our storms are so frightening that we forget you are with us. Help us to trust you to take us safely to the other shore, in Jesus' name. Amen.