In the storm...
Then Jesus got up and rebuked the wind and the sea. "Silence!" He commanded. "Be still!" And the wind died down, and it was perfectly calm.
~ Mark 4:39
"I've opened 'Pandora's Box,'" she exclaimed as I listened to a friend share about something she had done. "They are never going to forgive me."
Family dynamics and experiences can sometimes remind us of storms that are brewing, or storms that seem to be like a hurricane that refuses to go away. Recently a friend of mine shared a deep secret she had hidden from her family. In nearly ninety years of life, she had never told anyone, until one of her children did a DNA test and the indiscretion came to light.
As she shared about what had happened nearly seventy years ago, and about the circumstances surrounding an encounter that produced her oldest child, her tears flowed, and the storm that surrounded her, instead of allowing for the truth finally being out in the open, all she could sense was darkness, and the pain associated with telling the story.
I wanted to tell her the words that Jesus offered while being tossed upon the sea, "Peace. Be still." I wanted some way to calm her as she relived the night.
For her, the story was heartbreaking. While she had spent decades avoiding what had happened one night in her life, somehow, the words seem to make their way into the present.
Suddenly, instead of offering peace, all I could think of was this, "This is your story, and you have the power to tell it now as you see fit."
There was silence. There was peace.
The one thing she had forgotten is that the power it took to live through the storm that night years ago, and the power she still possessed over the telling of that story, was like the words of Jesus that night.
Storms rage all the time around us. Giving others the power to tell of these storms is an incredible opportunity for peace to exist. Even through my friend's tearful expression of pain, she was able to feel the peace that was being welcomed in.
We forget that throughout scripture, encounters that are recorded like this one in Mark offer so much more for us today. It is the reminder that storms still rise up. That darkness, winds, and waves, can cause us to be fearful, but that there is Jesus, waiting to tell us not to be afraid, and to have peace.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2018
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Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain at Essential Hospice, Webster, Texas, and is an ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.