Thursday, July 12, 2012
How Are We To Behave During the Storm?
One Day he got into a boat with his disciples and he said to them let us go across to the other side of Lake so they put out, and while that was selling he fell asleep. A windstorm swept down on the lake, and the boat was filling with water, and they were in danger. They went to him and woke him up shouting master, master, we are perishing! And he woke up and rebuked the wind and the raging waves; they ceased and there was a calm. He said to them, where is your faith? They were afraid and amazed and said to one another, who then is this that he commands even the Wind and the Water and they obey him? Then they arrived at the country of the Gerasenes, which is opposite Galilee.
We had been in the Sea of Galilee all of 15 minutes as our boat was turning around and we begin to head back towards the shore someone said pejoratively what would happen if a storm came now, right out of nowhere? I looked down at the amazingly calm waters of the Galilean sea and begin to take a quick inventory of the width, and length of the sea of Galilee. Briefly gazing along the shoreline and at other ships around us our guide Ramseys told us the sea is over 150 feet deep. Realizing all of this I began to envision how afraid the disciples must have been stuck out on the sea in the middle of a horrible storm, nowhere to go, with no escape, nothing to hold on to. The disciples only had three options 1) Panic, 2)Wait, 3) or call on Jesus!
As we travel through the Holy Land we have been privileged to see great and historic places to our faith and the scriptures. We have been allowed to travel freely, eat great cuisine and take advantage of all that Israel has to offer. However we have also been challenged to the core of our hearts. The liberties that we are experiencing have been denied to many who have been born right here. Many Arabic people born in the land live through daily storms. Storms filled with check points, unfair laws, racism and oppression, many live in a situation not unlike the twelve on the boat; where they can either panic, accept the situation and wait or turn to God. Today I have come to the realization that we al will have enormous storms in our life, that is a promise as sure as we need air to breathe. The realization I have come to is that we are not to feel defeated in the storms, it’s how we behave in the storms of our lives that give us power. I have been encouraged at how the Arabic/ Palestinian people I have encountered have chosen to behave in the storm. They have not been defeated but have called on God to empower them , and they have the faith to endure until Justice prevails and ture love is unleashed in the land. I pray that you and I can use the examples seen here and behave the same way in the midst of our storms, by turning to God.
Finally, I remember the words or Rev. Charles Albert Tindely “ In the midst of tribulation, stand by me. When the host of hell assail, and my strength begins to fail, thou who never lost a battle, stand by me.” Dear God remind us how you have never lost a battle, remind us how you are with us during the storms of life giving freedom to the captives and release from oppression for the oppressed. Show us how to behave during the storm.