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Matthew 8

A windstorm arose on the sea, so great that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him up, saying, "Lord, save us! We are perishing!" And he said to them, "Why are you afraid, you of little faith?" Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a dead calm. They were amazed, saying, "What sort of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him?"

Every day I look out my window and watch the ocean through the trees. On windy days, there’s white caps and spray above the water. It’s beautiful and terrifying. I often think about how I am thankful to be inside my room instead of in the middle of that water at the mercy of the big, crashing swells. To me, the ocean represents absolute power that can be chaotic and untamed. 

After reading through this passage the first time, I felt a bit overwhelmed. The idea that Jesus has control over something that I would consider to be absolutely uncontrollable (the sea) intimidated me at first thought… Imagine that you are one of the men on the boat, and there’s 20 foot waves crashing around you for miles in every direction with wind and rain pelting you from all sides. When you tell Jesus that you’re scared, he comforts you and stops the storm. Just like that. If I was there, I would’ve been stunned.

This passage is perfect for today. It is perfect for the chaos that the world has been experiencing with COVID and other aspects of 2020. The ocean is a metaphor for the events that are out of our control right now. We are not in control, and many, including myself, have been experiencing that uncomfortable realization tenfold. However, if Jesus could calm the waters around the disciples, I believe that He will find a way to help the world discover peace in the chaos that this pandemic has brought. I don’t know that His way of calming the chaos will be as definite as the moment that He literally stopped the waves. I would guess that there won’t be a specific moment where we all say, “Thank goodness, it is all over now.” I do think that the world will learn from the current circumstances and find a way to move forward. I also know that Jesus’ love will show through the actions of those striving to help resolve some of the world’s chaos. It’s okay to feel out of control, as long as we remember that He is the one in control. I certainly haven’t reached that point; letting go of the limited control I have feels uninviting, uncomfortable, and impossible. At the same time, I realize that I have been gifted with the beautiful ability to offer up my control to a creator who loves the world He created. If I choose to accept that gift, I know that my heart will feel less burdened.

Let us pray for peace and hope in the chaotic sea of life, and make an effort to realize that God is in control and will help us through the happiest and hardest of times.