I’ve recently had an experience of high winds and waves while travelling on a ship. Wonderfully and thankfully, there were no sea sick feelings. I even managed to have sailor legs and keep my balance, although at times, the slight rocking and tilting from one side to the other caused me to reach my hand to the wall to steady myself.
I am not in the least a sailor. I love to look at the sea and occasionally swim the edges but I have never thrilled at the thought of taking to the high seas. Nonetheless, I determined to make the best of this experience. I was taking mental note of all my surroundings. One thing in particular captured my attention. I noticed that when I was at either side of the vessel, I could feel the tilting with greater swaying back and forth. However, I also took note that when in the centre of the ship, the feel of the sway was at a minimum. It was still there, but my balance was unaffected and I could carry on and walk straight without the occasional aid of the wall to hold me up.
You may have guessed at this point exactly what I am going to say: it’s the same in our spiritual world. Life has its ups and downs, its challenges and difficulties. None of us can escape times of turmoil that, like high waves and wind on the sea, may send us grabbing for something to hold us up. We may look for a handrail of mental escape where we just don’t have to think about it for a time. We may hug a wall of anything that gives us hope so we keep standing in the storm of our difficulty.
While any of the above may help for a time, it’s only when we go to the source of all calm, the One who is the centre of all we are, Jesus who is our peace of mind and heart, when all around us there is tilting and swaying of confusion, depression, and fear. If only we could remember, when all around the edges of our world, troubles abound, in the centre of our own hearts and minds, there is Jesus with us in the storm, speaking to the wind and wavs of our dilemmas to be calm again.
“Then Jesus got into the boat and started across the lake with His disciples. Suddenly a fierce storm struck the lake, with waves breaking into the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke Him up shouting, ‘Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!’ Jesus responded, ‘Why are you afraid? You have so little faith.’ Then He got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly there was a great calm.” Matthew 8: 23-26