I’m in the process of re-reading Jane Austen’s Persuasion. It is, perhaps, my favorite of her works. It is a novel about second chances, and who doesn’t love a second chance? I found a quote last night that stuck with me, for it is absolutely true to life. Mrs. Croft, an Admiral’s wife, is discussing her life lived at sea with her husband and remarks, when the idea that women are too delicate to live life aboard a naval ship is presented, that “none of us expect to be in smooth water all our days.” One of the problems with living in the human world is the absolute human-ness of it all. Life can be challenging, unexpected, scary and even cruel. There are times in each of our lives where the waves begin to swell and swamp us and we feel like we’re going to capsize.
I remember a time in my life several years ago when I felt I was on the verge of capsize. I remember the exact moment, sitting on the edge of my bed, tears streaming down my face, when I envisioned myself flailing about in a raging sea. I even remember the words I cried out to God in that moment–“I’m drowning here! You have to help me. Throw me a life line or something!!” In the months that followed, God not only sent me a life line, he sent me a new life! You’d think I would have learned a little something about trust and the “power of the Almighty to do great things for me”. Yet, the reality is, when life gets rough, I still find myself calling to God to save me from drowning.
The disciples found themselves in a similar boat, quite literally. Jesus wanted to cross the sea. While he slept, a storm developed and the boat became unstable. Needless to say, the disciples freaked out. They ran to Jesus and pulled him out of his sleep. “We’re going to drown!” they cried. Jesus, in true Son of God fashion, said nothing but rose from his rest and calmed the storm. It was over in a matter of seconds. The water calmed, Jesus turned to his disciples who were huddled together with their mouths hanging open and said, “Don’t you have any faith?”
Don’t you have any faith? I am struck as mute as the disciples in the face of Jesus’ words. It’s convicting, isn’t it? To realize how little faith you actually have in the Creator of the universe to see you through the storms of life? The truth of the matter is that God, our FATHER, is not going to let us drown. That’s not to say that life won’t throw in some pretty good punches. We’ll lose our footing, lose our breath, maybe get a little sea-sick, and we will definitely have some water to bail, but God, our God, who formed us in the womb and has counted each hair on our head, will NOT let us drown!!