Jesus Is In The Boat

The spiritual journey is a constant interplay between moments of awe followed by a process of surrender to that moment.  - Frederick Buechener

The painting below by Rembrandt is entitled Christ In The Storm On The Lake Of Galilee: 

This painting depicts the moment in Mark 4:35-41 when Jesus and his disciples are caught in a sudden storm on the Sea of Galilee.  Throughout the storm, Jesus is fast asleep in the boat.

After frantically trying to solve things themselves, the disciples wake him up angrily saying, "Don't you even care that we are sinking?!!?"

I'm going to zoom in on Jesus in Rembrandt's painting so you can see how he depicted him.  It's awesome:

Does Jesus look upset that there's a storm?  Does he seem particularly frightened?  No!
He looks resigned, actually---resigned to the fact that his followers don't seem to get it.

You see, they are scared to death of the wind and waves, when the One who was present at the moment when God's Spirit hovered over the waters of Creation is in the boat with them.

How many times in my life do I do that?  I get so focused on the storms all around me that I forget that the One who commands the storms--Jesus himself--is the One I claim is Lord of my life.

And if I claim that Jesus is Lord of my life, I need to admit that no amount of my frantic rowing or trying to fix the sails is going to make that much difference.

What I need most is to simply trust and surrender.

When Jesus commands the waves to "Be still!" in this story, an eerie calm comes over the water and the disciples find themselves feeling awestruck and full of wonder.

The disciples realize in that moment that they had nothing to fear from the storm because the Creative Word of God, the Savior, Emmanuel, God-With-Us, was in the boat.

May you find the courage to release your death grip on the oar you've been rowing with so frantically and trust that the One who is in the boat with you will never let you sink.  And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen. 


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