Sometimes silence is golden. Like for this mom, when I have three kiddos, a work schedule, an extracurricular activity schedule, a homework schedule to juggle – I crave silence like a piece of chocolate. A small piece, just enough to satisfy the craving.
But I have found that I don’t like silence either. Silence between friends. Months or even days without communication. Silence between spouses. I love my husband and enjoy talking to him, so if things are “tense” or there has been a period of silence, I don’t like it. Something about that silence disturbs me and sends my emotions into a roller coaster and I wonder if it will come off the tracks. Spirals of rejection, jolts of doubt, steep inclines of, “What could I have done different or better….” that kind of roller coaster. Maybe it is just me, but something tells me, it happens more often behind pretty smiles and curled hair than we like to admit. We may look all together, but meanwhile there is a tornado of emotions circulating.
What do we do with this?
Jesus told the storm, “Quiet! Be still!” (Mark 4:39).
Here is how the day unfolds up to the storm. Jesus says to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” (Mark 4:35).
Note to self: Jesus was directing their day. He knew where he was taking them. My husband in January felt the Lord tell him it was time to pack up and move. We weren’t moving states away, but we were moving away from what had been normal for the past ten years. Moving far enough way that we would need to find a new church, schools, ball leagues, dance schools, etc. But just like the disciples, Jesus was leading. We knew in that moment and today that Jesus was leading us to the place he wanted us to plant ourselves, the place where he has drawn boundary lines for our feet.
“The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.” Psalm 16:6
“Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat.” Mark 4:36
Jesus climbs in the boat with the disciples. Let’s remember who the disciples are – fishermen. They weren’t leisurely fishing type of people, fishing was their livelihood. They knew the waters, the streams, the ins and outs of fishing. They were familiar with the land and territory. They understood weather, when to come in and when to go out. They also weren’t afraid to get in the boat and drive Jesus, the Son of God, across the water to the place he wanted them all to go. They were secure in what they knew (knowledge) and in whom they trusted, Jesus (wisdom).
I climbed in the boat to move with my husband. We loaded up all we had and came just as we are. There is nothing fancy about us. We don’t have special “bells and whistles” to offer, except that we know Jesus and heard his voice and followed.
“A furious squall came up and the waves broke over the boat, so it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern sleeping on the cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, ‘Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” Mark 4:37-38
Okay – so let’s recap. Jesus is sleeping. There is this furious storm that comes up and is rocking the boat, drowning it in waves. The fishermen – the professionals – are terrified. They must not have seen it coming, they either missed the signs or it came out of nowhere. Either way, they are afraid and think they are going to drown. Wow. Have you ever heard God say, “Go.” You follow like a good son or daughter of the King. On your way to the place Jesus has told you to go, something happens – a storm shows up and you think, “I’m going to drown, we will never make it.”
God gives dreams. You hold this dream, a door opens, you step through. God says pack up and go. You oblige. You are moving along and a wave crashes over you, such as silence or loneliness. Let’s be honest, we think, “Really? I am just doing what you asked. Really? Will I even make it to that place where I am to set these faded tan feet?” The answer is yes, you will. The truth is waves from storms will rise and try to stop you on your way. Waves such as: discouragement, loneliness, depression, fear and even guilt.
I think it is somewhere in the storm that we are defined. Will we sit there, grip the edge of the boat just waiting for death to drown us in the waves from the storms or do we go and seek our Master and say, “Don’t you care if we drown? Come help me.”
How did Jesus respond? “He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, ‘Quiet! Be still. Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.” (Mark 4:39)
I don’t know where you are on your journey, maybe you haven’t gotten in the boat to leave one land for another, maybe you already have and you have landed at your destination or maybe you are in the middle of the water… but wherever you are, we can count on one thing, when we call on Jesus he will answer us. He is with us always, even in silence, loneliness, depression, discouragement, fear and guilt. If we go to him, he will calm the storms in our lives.
“I am leaving you with a gift–peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” (John 14:27)