Anyone else seem to ride the waves of life’s ups and downs sometimes? Some days life is hard, other days are easy, and lots of days are in between. Days turn into weeks and weeks into months and months to years and trials come and go. Some are long, some short. I often think of the boys and the ups and downs we have gone through with their health. It has seemed like an eternity at times, like the time could not go fast enough. But I blinked and they turned four this week. And truly the progress they have made is nothing short of God’s provision and hand over their lives.
During those tough days, tough months, I was up and down. I was good some days, fighting the darkness and the temptation to be angry or sad or disappointed or feel the guilt of bringing them into this world too soon. Other days I was not so good… letting the anger or the fear or the exhaustion get the best of me. I could go from thanking God for working in them and in me and our family to overwhelmed and upset at the first threat of a setback or another hospital visit.
It reminds me of such a familiar story in the bible of Jesus and his disciples. A story I have read many times, studied, and heard from other teachings. But this week the scripture jumped off the page at me with a set of fresh eyes and an open heart to what Jesus was trying to show me. The story of Matthew 8:23-27:
Then he (Jesus) got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”
Jesus’s disciples were completely freaking out! They were panicked that the wind was going to blow the waves over the boat and that they were all going to die. They thought the wind and the storm would overtake them. Life in that moment overwhelmed the disciples, just like life can do to us. But Jesus… What does he do? He calls them out! He says, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” The scripture says he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves and it became completely calm. I love the Message translation here, it says that the sea became smooth as glass.
The miracle Jesus performs is profound, yes, but what I saw for the first time this week was that Jesus stayed even. He was stable, calm in the midst of the storm. Not only did he not let the storm affect him, but he didn’t let the disciples fear and emotions affect him either. These men, they were his inner circle; his support, his closest friends, his travel partners, his prayer warriors, his chosen disciples. And when their emotions ran high and they were in complete fear Jesus stayed even. He was not up or down, but even.
How amazing would it be to follow hard after Jesus and his example here? To stay even, grounded, not up and down, but stable? Not letting circumstances or storms affect us, or the people around us either. Can we dare to be the even for someone else, in someone else’s storm? Can we stay grounded in the ups and downs of life?
I am so grateful for the Scriptures. I am so very grateful for Jesus and his examples to us while he was here on earth. His words…so powerful. His love…utterly amazing. His teachings…priceless to us.
Blessings on your weekend!