Have you been on a downhill slide?
The ground had cracked and opened wide
There was no one to head your call –
For help?” (private collection – 1979)
How on earth do you think those poor fishermen felt, in a small boat in the middle of a raging storm? The storm had obviously come up so quickly that they were unable to seek shelter and were totally at the mercy of the elements. Do you know that feeling?
Do you know what it feels like to be caught up in an unexpected situation or circumstances beyond your control, and totally out of your depth?
There is probably no one who is able to read the words that I have written who can answer “No”. So why is it that almost everywhere I turn, I hear the tumultuous voice of complaint about the minor and the trivial – yet so few really want to hear of the real, tumultuous events of life?
For various reasons, it has been a difficult week. Twice on Wednesday, while doing errands, I was asked, “How has your day been?” And each time I responded, “It has been a difficult day”!
Obviously, my answer was unexpected. The people I spoke to were disoriented and did not know how to respond. One said it was his job to make people happy… So I obliged by putting on my happy face!
The reality is that bad stuff happens in life… when you least expect it, and are ill prepared! In the words of an iconic movie from the ‘80’s, “who you gonna call?” and the response is definitely not “Ghost Busters!”
There is no person who can take away all the suffering in the world. Only Jesus helps us to find direction and meaning in the midst of chaos. Only Jesus helps strengthen our backbone for the long haul, and encourages us on our journey.
And we are no different to those disciples in the boat – At some point we all have to deal with that demon “doubt” when it seems that God is asleep in the stern of the boat, near and yet too far!
Heavenly Father, earthly brother, be our strength and wholeness when life becomes too much of a “roller coaster” for us to think for ourselves. Help us to put our trust in you, in the dark and stormy moments when we cannot see you at work, through Christ our Lord, Amen.