Note: During Lent, we will feature guest blog posts from members of Restoration who are exploring the Daily Office in the Book of Common Prayer. Hopefully, these reflections will be an encouragement to you in your own prayer life during this season. Thanks to Nobie Hendricks for this contribution.
Much of our Christian life is one of inwardness and I find that by praying and reading the Daily Office and Scripture we become drenched in it. The is important because of the significance it has in affecting us inwardly. I love how God can touch our hearts through the Good News of his message when we least expect it. This is especially true for me as I ponder Jesus’ stories and teachings, like the one I read last week that came from Mark 4:35-41 – Jesus Calms a Storm.
You might be asking yourself what this story has to do with the season of Lent! For me that particular morning, this discourse imparted inwardly important lessons of comfort and faith. Lessons all believers may cling to during Lent (and beyond) as we are called to lean into the knowledge and love of Christ; a narrative that speaks to living in faith in the midst of uncertainty.
My life at this time is filled with wonderful and exciting possibilities and much will probably change for me over the next seven months or so. As a good friend reminded me, I know I am lucky to have options but often times with many options uncertainty can creep in. Yet as I read and pondered this story I realized several lessons God was giving me at just the right moment.
The first lesson: I, like the disciples, am in Jesus’ will for it was He who charged them (and me) with; “Let us go across to the other side.” (4:35). Jesus led me to seminary so I could crossover into a new life of ministry just as he was doing for the disciples.
My second lesson came in verses 37-38. We see here it was their uncertainty of how to navigate the storm that roused them to awaken Jesus from the stern of the boat for his help. The take away for me is–just as Christ was right there with them, he too is with me ready to respond when I call. It was the disciples’ act of reaching out to him in their time of doubt that we see Jesus was readily willing and able to lovingly assist.
Jesus’ response was to command the sea, “Peace! Be still!” (4:39) I love the power and sovereignty this little command displays. This lesson is a powerful reminder that Christ is able to speak peace into the midst of our uncertainties, in any and all difficult situations we might find ourselves in.
The narrative ends with the disciples asking the question “Who then is this, that even wind and sea obey him?” In this season of Lent we too are to ask such questions. Who is this Jesus? What does his life and passion mean to me and to the church at large? What spiritual truth is he trying to impart inwardly into your heart?
Throughout Lent may we as Christ-followers, as ones who are “going across to the other side,” keep our eyes focused on who Jesus is in all of his, Almighty splendor. May we remember that even if we cannot perceive what lies ahead, we are to cling to God’s greatest promise: the promise of his abiding presence, a presence that calms the storm and thereby brings peace to our journeys as we call upon his name. Amen