…he gave orders to go over to the other side. Matthew 8:18-27 Jesus had just cured a leper, healed a paralytic from a distance, and touched the hand of Peter’s mother to reduce her fever, but not until he calmed a storm were the disciples amazed! He was about as close as he could get to his disciples while crossing the Sea of Galilee and yet they were still afraid when the winds caused the water to swamp the boat. The disciples assumed that Jesus needed to be awake when all they had to do was trust the presence. I suppose there will always be some element of fear in various aspects of our lives, but through Christ we are spiritually as close to God as we are going to get. If we do what we do in Christ and allow God to do what he does in us, we too must trust the presence of the Lord, and together we will all get to the other side.
He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.
He who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep. Psalm 121:3,4
Navigating the Wilderness
Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of one bread. 1 Corinthians 10:14-11:1 Here we are in the fourth week of the season of Lent and in the whole scheme of the season it’s kind of like a hump week. We started out perhaps thinking of ways in which we can face the wilderness that is in our own lives; the things we feel are tempting us and pulling us away from God. We’ve identified perhaps some emotions, distractions or fears that we want to face that may be keeping us from seeing God’s purpose in our lives, or may be keeping us from seeing God altogether. Initially we begin stumbling. As we become more committed to the change, generally by the fourth week we realize that we are catching ourselves, and we are more conscious of what it is we have either let go of or have added in our lives – in order that we may experience a true change in our relationship with God. One of the goals in Lent is basically to get to the other side of that wilderness. Once you are there the challenge is to stop going back across. As we are midway through the season of Lent, hold to the faith that ours is a journey not meant to walk alone. Together, the strength we have in the one bread that is Christ will sustain us and carry us through.
…but the centurion, wishing to save Paul, kept them from carrying out their plan. Acts 27:27-44 Ever wonder why God brings certain people into your life? Even though Paul assured his boat mates and captures that the key to their survival was that they all needed to stay in the ship, there were those who believed the weight of the boat needed to be lightened. The first to go would have to be the prisoners. Sometimes we find our selves captured in various situations and the first thing we want to do is jump ship. But if we just hang in there a little while longer we find that it is often safer to stay where we are rather than battle the storms that rise to keep us from getting safely to the other side. Like the centurion that protected Paul, God places those soldiers in our lives as well, to intercede on our behalf. As for our steadfastness in the storm, perhaps we are being called to make disciples on the way to that peaceful shore.
When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the lake and coming near the boat…John 6:16-27 So much of life involves decision making and movement. The choice and the way isn’t always as easy or smooth as we like. As we go forward in our journey storms inevitably arise not necessarily to hinder our way but often to satisfy their own purpose. We then allow the storm to distract us. The good news is that as we stay focused on the Divine purpose and will, the presence of Christ will show up in places we least expect.
…he (Jesus) said to them, It is I; do not be afraid.’