MONDAY, MARCH 7TH
A TIME OF COMFORT
Today our time with Jesus gives him the opportunity to comfort us. He begins by telling us this story.
On that day, when evening had come, I said to my disciples, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd behind, they took me with them in the boat, just as I was. Other boats were with us. A great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. But I was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke me up and said to me, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” I woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. I said to them, “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?” (Mark 4:35-40, NRSV, revised*)
Envision yourself sitting with this caring friend, who wants to comfort you today. In what ways might you need his comfort? Do you sense storm clouds of trouble developing in your life, or find yourself actually weathering a storm right now, or still hurting from a storm that has recently passed through? Can you sense the serenity of Jesus? Where do you need his calming presence? Where would you ask Jesus to command peace and stillness in your life?
Jesus certainly didn’t have an easy, care-free life. Even before his terrible suffering and death, his life was filled with challenges and hardships. Jesus was interrupted and tested by those who wanted to accuse and find fault with him. He was confronted with the many needs of the poor, lame, blind, sick, and hungry. He was often surprised by the lack of understanding from his disciples. Today we are reminded of the time he was awakened on a boat that was quickly being overwhelmed by a terrible storm.
And yet, today Jesus is comforting us with his peace. Our mentor tells us that we do not need to be afraid. How can he say this, when he – of all people – has endured so much?
Jesus was able to have peace and even to command peace, in his circumstances and despite his circumstances, because his peace came from beyond all of that. Jesus’s peace came from God, a peace beyond our comprehension that permeated his spirit. His peace came from his trust in the One who would never leave him and always love him. And Jesus offers this same peace for us today.
Through Jesus, we too, can learn to seek God’s help in every moment, to trust God in all circumstances, and to feel God with us through every trial. Through Jesus, we can receive and share that same peace within the storm. Through Jesus, we can rest peacefully as we place ourselves into the tender care of God.
The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:5b-7, NRSV)
*The name of Jesus and his pronouns have been adapted by Karen into first-person.