…Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, "Teacher, don't you care if we drown? He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, "Quiet! Be still!" Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. Mark 4:36-39.
I haven’t spent a lot of time on boats in my lifetime. My brother has one and every time we visit them, we try to get out for a day on the boat. It’s always great, but I find myself nervous with the “what if’s” of being out on the water in a craft that isn’t all that big. We’d never had an issue when we’re out with him. He’s a very skilled boater and certainly knows his way around the waters of Southwest Florida.
We spent a day on the boat with him earlier this week. Me with my two kids and he with his three boys. Everything was great and we were all having a really good time. Fishing, swimming, seeing dolphin and even a manatee! We decided to make one last little run up into a deep channel where the tarpon usually are biting. He wanted to see if anyone had any on their lines. So away we went.
When we made the turn to head back to the marina, there it was. A typical Florida afternoon storm. Sitting right in between us and our destination. Now, the boat doesn’t have an under deck, so we were stuck. We thought we could get through it, so we made a decision to try. Within minutes, the rain was pounding us, it felt like little pins hitting our skin. I had the two little ones (ages 5 and 6) on the front seat with me. Needless to say, we were getting the brunt of the storm.
Strangely, this story came to mind almost immediately. And, almost as fast, I felt calm. Calm enough to know that Jesus was in the boat with us. As we huddled under the towel in a feeble attempt to protect ourselves from the rain, we talked about Jesus and that the best thing we could do was to pray and ask Him for protection. My daughter was all over it. She took charge of her younger cousin and the two of them prayed the whole time we were in the storm. She later told me that they were fine and not scared because they were praying. I prayed silently and felt a sense of peace knowing that we were going to be okay.
We were able to safely make it in without any incident, but this episode has stayed fresh in my mind and heart this week. It seemed like every song I heard today had a reference to the ocean, storms and Jesus, of course. Okay, so I think there’s a lesson in this for me! (Sometimes I have to be hit pretty hard over the head to get it.)
It may not be a storm in the sense of rain, thunder and lightning, but the storms of life are real reminders that I need to continue to trust, pray and have faith that Jesus is there with me, every step of the way. If it took being out on the furious sea to drive home the point, then I’m glad I stayed on that boat.