Most of you, like me and my family, are experiencing an unprecedented storm, one filled with uncertainty and fear. We didn’t expect it, may have been ill-prepared for it, and certainly don’t know when it will all end.
It brings to mind another group of people who, too, were caught up in a sudden and dreadful storm, not a COVID-19 storm but a storm on the Sea of Galilee. Far from shore, their lives were in danger as massive waves rocked their boat and it began to take on water. What did they do in their time of great need? They turned to Jesus.
The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” (Matt. 8:25 NLT)
They didn’t know what, if anything, he could do, but they knew the storm was beyond them. The disciples weren’t alone in their storm, and neither are we alone in this. Jesus is with you and me, in every trial, in every season, in every tempest.
Right now, you may feel out of control. If you do, that’s perfectly natural. For many of us, everything about our normal has been completely shaken up. There are waves definitely rocking the boat. Because you care, about the health and safety of your loved ones and community at-large, you’re under stress. But beyond practicing good hygiene and social distancing, those things are beyond you. But be assured, the One who nothing is beyond is beside you.
Directing your attention to what you’re able to control in your life right now may steady you and add a sense of normalcy. Work on a project, organize your closet, structure your day. But know your real power lies not in what you control, but in what you choose.
In this storm you choose:
- The kind of person you’ll be.
- Your influence on the emotional atmosphere.
- If it will be a season of growth.
- How you’ll treat others.
No matter how intense a storm, eventually the rain always stops. When this storm is over, and it will end, who will you be on the other side?
While it still rages, stay aware of your feelings. They’ll likely be a mix of many things: worry, anger, sadness, loneliness, anxiety, denial, even depression. Whatever you feel, know that feelings aren’t bad or good. They simply are. Acknowledge them in prayer, journal them, or share them with a safe person. Be compassionate with yourself as well as with others. Just don’t get stuck and become them.
But if we should, like the disciples, find ourselves at times giving in to the fear and worry. Jesus will ask us the very question he asked them so long ago.
“Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” Then he got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly there was a great calm. (Matt. 8:26 NLT)
As the storm of uncertainty and fear that’s COVID-19 swirls around you, don’t allow it to swirl within you. Like the twelve men in the ravaged boat, turn to Jesus. Rebuke the fear and embrace faith in Him. After all, Peace is not a situation, it’s a person.
They won’t be afraid of bad news; their hearts are steady because they trust the Lord.
(Psalms 112:7 NCV)
©Ann Wilds 2020