“That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”
He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!” ~ Mark 4: 35 – 41
For those who dare to rock the boat, life can get quite stormy. When you speak up and challenge the status quo, the status quo inevitably pushes back. In the midst of such tension, it is easy to feel afraid of the unknown. It can be hard to count the cost when you don’t exactly know what the cost will be. Speaking up for justice, will cost you – but you might not know how much.
In our passage, the disciples expect the worst. The uncertainty of the storm made them very fearful and translated into the negative expectation that they would drown. This is contrasted with Jesus sleeping, unaffected, oblivious, peaceful.
I’m reminded of the words of Julian of Norwich who said, “All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.”
Julian’s words are the words of prayerful contemplation. They are words we are invited to draw into the depths of our being – in the very midst of the uncertainty of the storm. When we act on behalf of those who are oppressed or marginalized or excluded, we must practice singing with hymn writer Horatio Spafford, “It is well with my soul.” It should be noted, that Spafford wrote the well known hymn after both financial ruin and the drowning deaths of all four of his daughters. Whatever trials, challenges, or losses we may face in the pursuit of justice, we can be sure of God’s presence with us.
O Lord God, who sees that we put not our trust in any thing that we do, mercifully grant that by your power we may be defended against all adversity, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen (Book of Common Prayer)
This reflection is part of our Lenten series connected to the Tell Your Pastor #imaffirming initiative. Click here to learn more.