We all have times in our lives when the sea seems to be washing over the sides of our boats! In today’s scripture reading Jesus is awakened by his disciples, awash in fear of their boat capsizing into an angry sea. Jesus tells the sea to quiet and calms the fear and distress of his companions. His calming of the sea seems to leave the disciples more afraid of what Jesus did than of the storm He calmed!
Lately I have been overwhelmed, like many of you at times, by the seas around me. The requests for prayers from family, friends and acquaintances have been rolling over me. I’m sure we all have been in the same situation, when illnesses, untimely deaths, divisive words and events around us have left our own boats rolling in the seas! I’m reminded of the lyrics from “All is Well” by Horatio G. Spafford.
“When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say
It is well, it is well, with my soul.”
The challenge is to let the Lord of Peace calm my soul when the seas get rough. But it isn’t easy to let go of control in my life; never has been, never will be. To let go is to recognize my own limits of power. To let go is to give up my own efforts to build walls. To let go is to open my heart to new understanding. To let go is to sit quietly with only questions God can answer. To let go is to watch as Jesus calms the sea and marvel in awe at the peace only God can give.
I find myself today wanting to sing along with Spafford’s old hymn.
“Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And has shed His own blood for my soul
It is well (it is well)
With my soul (with my soul)
It is well, it is well with my soul”
Terry McDevitt, Ph.D. is a member of our Passionist Family in Louisville, Kentucky.