The fourth chapter of the gospel of Mark tells of an account with Jesus and His disciples on a ship. A storm arises while they are out on the sea and the disciples begin to worry. Jesus is asleep in the hinder part of the ship. Some would suggest that He was safe while the disciples were in great danger. From a place of fear, they wake Him up and ask, “Do you not care if we die?” Jesus, before addressing them, speaks to the storm and it ceases.
While the elements of this story make perfect sense, it is often a depiction of our faith. The disciples trusted Jesus enough to get on a ship with Him, however, their faith was contingent upon the ferocity of the storm they were faced with. As a Pastor, I never tell people that fear is a sin. As a matter of fact, fear is a natural response when life throws a curveball we did not anticipate. Just a couple of months ago, life presented a storm called COVID-19 that many of us had to learn how to navigate. However, the message I share with my congregants and those around me is while it may appear that Jesus is asleep, He has the authority to control the elements of any storm. I rest in knowing that.
For those struggling with their faith, I want to suggest a few things that may help comfort you during this time:
- Our words affect our results. We must continue to encourage each other with words of affirmation each day.
- Trust God with your worst just as you trust Him for the best. He is not just the God who blesses us, but He is also the God who keeps watch over us.
- Continue to talk to your children and family about how important it is to have faith in a God who is bigger than us. Everybody needs a community of hope at a time like this.
- Life continues beyond a storm. It may look different for many of us, but better days are ahead.
Keep living, keep loving, keep trusting, and most importantly, keep going. ■