We’re in a really challenging time. (If you want a bit of a lift, check out some highlights from Christmas fun here) If you’re anything like me then this newest lockdown has felt like a kick in the teeth. We seem to be facing the worst of the virus when we’re at our weariest yet. It’s not easy. But we do have hope. I’ve been reflecting recently on stories of Jesus in storms with his disciples.
In Luke 8:22-25 he’s sleeping in the boat in the middle of a storm when finally his disciples wake him, he commands the storm to stop, and then asks them: “Where is your faith?” In Matthew 14:22-36 his disciples are again in a storm in the middle of the sea, but this time Jesus walks to them on the water. They’re scared, he says “It’s me!”, and Peter tells him, “If it’s you Lord, ask me to come to you.” When Jesus says ‘Come’, Peter amazingly climbs out of the boat and walks on water!….until he looks at the storm and the waves, and starts to sink. Jesus takes his hand, brings him to the boat, and again asks: “Where is your faith, why did you doubt?”
I can’t stop thinking about these stories. We’re in a storm right now. And the lesson is really clear: to have faith is to look to Jesus above the storm. To allow Jesus, who he is and what he is doing, to shape our thoughts/actions/words/feelings in the middle of this huge storm we currently face.
It’s simple. But it’s not easy. The storm is very real. The danger too. And Jesus often seems not to be doing what he should – why is he sleeping instead of helping? Why is he asking Peter to climb out of the boat instead of helping his friends? Why doesn’t he stop the storm straight away?
We don’t know the answers to all of these. But we do know this: we see that Jesus is powerful enough to command the storm; we see that he protects his disciples throughout. We see that he is calling them, teaching them, helping them to learn to fix their eyes on him rather than the storm, no matter how big or real it may be. And, if we read a few more verses, we see that once they trust him, he brings them to their destination and in that place heals the sick, frees the oppressed, and shows many the beauty of the kingdom and the love of Father God.
My friends, we are in a storm.
We are in it together.
We are in it with Jesus.
My sense is that our greatest call in this time, as children of God and as parents, is to fix our eyes on Jesus. To allow who he is and what he is doing to shape our thoughts, actions, words, more than anything else. This isn’t ignoring the pandemic or the storm that we face. Instead this is the greatest gift and response we can make – to be those with our feet on the solid rock of Jesus able to offer hope, love and help to those around us from what we receive from Him.
So, my prayer is that we can each and together grow this muscle of faith, this muscle of fixing our eyes on Jesus, remembering who he is, seeing what he is doing, and joining in.
I would encourage you to ask these simple questions:
- Jesus, what do I need to see right now about who you are?
- Jesus, what are you doing right now? In me, in my family, in my community / work place?
- Jesus, how can I join in with you? In my personal life, my family, my community?
This is our focus together in hubs.
In Family Hub on Sundays exploring who Jesus is, his life, what he said and did, to help us see him more in our life right now.
In Wednesday Hub we’re digging into how we increasingly see what Jesus is doing in the places he has put us and help each other to join in – to be where we are, right now, as disciples sent by Jesus to make a difference.