I’ve just come back from walking the dog and, despite the sunshine, it’s cold and windy out there. My hat blew off at one point, and Max and I must have looked a funny sight chasing it down the road. It’s ridiculous that it’s stormy in May, but it’s also typical of this year, a year of storms, floods, and now coronavirus, a storm in itself that’s blowing across the whole world.
There was once a storm on a lake in Israel. I’m calling it the perfect storm because of its power, it’s potential to destroy lives, and because it gives us a way to deal with Covid-19.
Some men were crossing the lake from one side to the other, a journey they’d probably made many times. Some of them were fishermen with a lifetime’s knowledge of the lake, the climate, the weather patterns, but on this day they were caught out. While out on the lake, too far away from land, a storm blew up that was so ferocious it was life threatening. I holidayed at Lake Garda in Italy once and, thankfully on land, witnessed a storm that came from nowhere and went just as quickly. I’ve never seen such rain and I guess this was similar but with a powerful wind too.
At first these men looked to themselves for help. The fishermen had encountered difficult weather before so we can assume they followed familiar practices to save themselves. But nothing worked. This storm was too severe and they were helpless before it. It was then they turned to their passenger. Yes, there was someone else in the boat, unperturbed by the storm because he was sleeping.
Hang on! Sleeping? In a storm? A life threatening storm? Yes, he was, until he was woken up by the others who cried out to him, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown.”(1) He did save them. He calmed the storm and they said, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and waves obey him.”(2)
It was Jesus sleeping in the boat. The creator of the winds and waves contentedly sleeping knowing they would not harm him, or those with him. In what was probably the worst storm those fishermen had ever encountered they learned a powerful lesson. When you meet something that is beyond your experience or ability to resolve, turn to Jesus.
Coronavirus is our current storm, and the longer it continues the more anxious we become. It’s life threatening and we need someone we can turn to for help. Giving them all the credit we can, we know that world leaders and scientists are struggling as much as we are. They don’t have the answers we need despite the superior knowledge of the scientists. We need someone greater than them to help, someone greater than the virus. That’s Jesus. He created a universe, he calms winds and waves, he can help us deal with this time of coronavirus anxiety.
- Mark 4:25
- Mark 4:27