At the Helm of a Small Boat in a Storm

At the helm of a small boat in a storm. Or maybe it was when I was a very young child, at night trying to sleep, and the monsters attacked. It’s all the same, really. I am fearful. I cry out in distress. It is my mother that pops her head in the door, light shining into my dark world. I can’t really scream, but simply gasp.

“Oh, dear, it’ll be okay. Go back to sleep,” she’d not say. Would she? If she did say that I can picture the scene in my head.

“Don’t you see them,” I’d gasp, barely able to cry out. I can imagine the terror of monsters crawling toward me as the door closes and my mother walks away.

“It turned out nice again, didn’t it?” she’d say as she walks away. That is what she always said when unpleasant things happened. But despite that, my mother still wouldn’t walk away.

I remember one time when I was maybe six or seven years old. I felt sick and had a nightmare. My mother gathered me into her arms and carried me into the living room. She and my Dad were watching the “Phil Silver’s Show” on their first television. It had a smaller screen than an iPad and was in black and white. I remember being wrapped in a Welsh wool blanket, and sat between them for the remainder of the show. Then, calmed and feeling a bit better, I was carried back to bed.

Immediately he made his disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. And after he had taken leave of them, he went up on the mountain to pray. And when evening came, the boat was out on the sea, and he was alone on the land. And he saw that they were making headway painfully, for the wind was against them. And about the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. He meant to pass by them, but when they saw him walking on the sea they thought it was a ghost, and cried out, for they all saw him and were terrified. But immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.” Mark 6:45-50

Those guys were in a major panic. Waves taller than their boat was long threatened to toss them into the water. The wind whipped them about, trying desperately to turn the boat broadside to the wind, where it would capsize with the next wave. Were they exhausted trying to row against the wind, the waves? I am sure they were.

“Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”

“What are you talking about?” they’d try to scream if they could catch their breaths.  “You’re just a spirit and can’t drown out here alone in this awful water.” What comfort are words in a time of distress. Sure. Y’shuaJesus sent them out into the water, and now saw their distress. He came to them, too, across that water. All he’s going to do is peak at them through a closed door and say, “Don’t worry, dear.” That it?

I read a short devotional in which the well-meaning author wanted us to understand that when we are in the midst of trails and don’t feel the comfort of the Lord in our lives, He will see us, come to us, speak to us. When I read it it bothered me. It was too open ended. The Lord says everything’s fine. Don’t worry. Go back to those waves that look like they are going to consume you, and just relax, don’t be afraid. Those disciples must have known that’s not the end of the story. Our Lord, our G-d, isn’t going to leave us stranded in the middle of a raging storm. My mother didn’t shut the door and say sleep tight.

And he got into the boat with them, and the wind ceased. Mark 6:51

That, like Paul Harvey said at the end of his radio broadcast, “Is the End of the Story.”

When the LORD sees I am in great distress, He comes to me, speaks gently to me, AND  gets right next to me in my storm-tossed boat and wraps His arms about me. I close my eyes and my storm is calmed, my wind ceases, the wrath toward me is ended.

The LORD is One, The LORD is G-d. Thank you LORD.

Lord Bless, Keep, Shine. . .

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