“Open House has been canceled due to the governor’s order” was a phrase I never imagined I would say to the sweet faces I teach every day.
But this week those words came out of my mouth.
For the first time this week, I put together resources for parents to help with learning at home as school was shut down.
On Saturday, I walked through my local grocery store and saw more empty than full cold cases.
For the first time this week, I sat in shock as I left a store and went to another to buy a carton of eggs.
I sat in my living room with my family and close friends Sunday morning and listened to my pastor’s deliver heartfelt messages of hope, and wasn’t able to pat their arm and say thank you afterward.
This week, I prayed with my own kids about the reality of world events intersecting their personal everyday lives.
My heart had questions for God I never thought I would ask. I experienced frustration in places I didn’t know I would get angry at.
I had to explain hard things to my boys about the beauty and bravery in life that comes from sadness and panic.
I suspect you are there.
World and national events have gripped our hearts as we have watched our daily routines be changed at an unpredictable rate.
It seems like every one of us has experienced something at a new level for the first time this week.
Maybe the shock has worn off for you, or maybe you are still working through the crazy disruption of life. You might be fearful, or worried, or annoyed.
There might be places that you feel you can’t control and, like me, you lean into the things you can–maybe a little too much–or maybe not enough.
There is a passage in Scripture that came to mind as I thought about what I would write in this quiet space.
In the New Testament, Peter experienced a crazy series of firsts. His entire encounter with the Savior was one eye-opener after another, pointing Him to a loving and sovereign King.
During this particular time, after a full schedule, Christ slipped away to pray and the disciples headed out in their boat.
As they did a powerful storm rose up. I imagine they were doing everything possible to keep from going down like the Titanic.
All of a sudden, in the middle of that storm, God Himself showed up.
And he came to them, walking on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified and said, “It is a ghost:” and they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them saying, “Take heart, it is I. Do not be afraid.” (Matthew 14:28 ESV)
They had been in storms before. This was nothing new, they were fishermen.
For whatever reason, this particular storm had produced a tremendous amount of fear and uncertainty.
The storm continued to rage but God’s peace had whispered over their anxious souls.
Peter, still unclear if it was Jesus, sent out a challenge for proof. He was skeptical.
How would we have responded?
Remember, it was dark and stormy. They couldn’t see their way. Their lives were being threatened. I feel like I might have wanted some assurance, too.
Peter hopped out of the boat and started walking. Right on top of that stormy water.
With all of the rain and wind, howling and crashing around him. With his friends screaming for him to come back he took one tentative step after another.
With his eyes fixed on the man calling to Him.
The entire scene feels like it could be played out in a movie with the music crescendoing at this point.
“But when he (Peter) saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, ‘Lord save me'” Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, ‘O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” (vs 30).
Peter’s current crisis intersected the peace of God at this moment.
Peter was confident and sure. He was ready to take on the world.
Then the reality of the situation hit him. Peter started to look at the surrounding circumstances. He was in shock at what was happening around his bubble.
His confidence waned and he started to focus on not sinking instead of the one holding Him up. As he did, he began to sink.
God lovingly and gently reached down and physically took hold of his wet dripping arms and helped him rise.
Here is the best part of the story,
“…And when they got in the boat, the wind ceased” (Matt 14:32)
God walked back to the boat with Peter and got in with him.
God is in the business of peace. He is the God of the past, present, and future.
He knows what is going to happen today and how we will respond tomorrow.
He is still on His throne. You are still loved.
“And those in the boat worshipped Him….” (Matthew 14:33)
Did this meditation speak to your heart? We are in uncertain times right now and peace is something many of our sweet friends are looking for. On Wednesday I will be sending a list of verses to share with others during our conversations, texts, or notes. You won’t want to miss this!! In order to get a copy, please subscribe to my email list. There will be more resources to provide hope in the days to come! Let’s continue to build communities of women who want to share hope and love others!
I will look forward to seeing you on email…bring a friend with you!
You are in my thoughts and prayers! Love to you!!