In times of fear and vulnerability, we need comfort. Our souls long for security, the confirmation that all is well.
As a child, I sought this from my parents, in particular my father. When the night would reach its darkest, I’d long for just a glimmer of light. I think this is why often children sleep with night lights: we need comfort through the pain, light during the darkness. Whether I thought there was a ghost in my room or that monsters were flooding my nightmares, I sought the comfort of my father. At any hour of the night, I could wake him and be reminded that he would do anything and everything in his strength to ensure that our family was safe.
Today, fear is not distant from the doorstep of my soul. I’m more vulnerable that i’d prefer. Death seems to be anywhere and everywhere. Often, she invades the borders of our lives without warning. Just as often, she takes her time, dragging it out like an inevitable and painful teenage-breakup.
Homemade bombs in Boston, a longtime-loved local musician murdered in a robbery, multiple students in youth ministry wrestling with suicide, many due to prior sexual abuse from their childhood, an elderly gentleman from church on his deathbed due to cancer, the list goes on. All the while, I am reminded of that dreadful night.
Nearly one year ago, I witnessed a middle school child innocently riding his skateboard get hit by a car, thrown twenty yards, and pronounced dead instantly. I can still see it. I can still hear his mother’s cries as she arrived at the scene, receiving the breaking news of her recently deceased son. The news broke her to sand grains, i’m sure.
Death is inevitable; this, we all know. As are trials, but more often than not, these aren’t greeted with welcoming smiles and embracing arms. Instead, they’re received as acts of terror, invasions of our safety and comfort, declarations of “war” on all that we’ve known to love and hold dearest.
Like the disciples in the storm, we are overwhelmed by death’s knock on our door. As the waters begin to break into the boat, slowly sinking it below sea-level, we run to Jesus, waking Him up to see that He is still in control.
My Father used to walk me back to my room and make sure that everything was fine. Jesus rebuked the wind and sea, ensuring that everything was fine.
I almost always felt safe and secure after I was comforted by my father. I can only imagine how the disciples felt after Jesus calmed the storm. Rightfully so, He rebuked their doubt of His power and control.
And even to this day, He rebukes me in my fear and vulnerability. I’ll confess that I doubt Him even though I bear no warrant.
Even more so, He knows and understands my emotions. The Father had to abandon Jesus, leaving Him vulnerable to any and every attack. And He faced the greatest attack of them all.
I wonder what it was like at the cross: for all those people to hear the cries of Jesus. In agonizing harmony, His mother supports the melody of His love. What was it like for the disciples to hear them, knowing that they had abandoned Him?
Though we may encounter intense waves in the raging seas of life, we can find comfort knowing that Jesus faced and embraced the most frightful of waves in the vastest of oceans: separation from God the Father. In doing this, He swallowed up the seas that we encounter in our own lives. He made them as nothing for our joy. He’s made them as a means to our greater joy which is to be found in Him. Jesus faced the storms of His people while on trial, He embraced them while on the cross, and He disgraced and disarmed their power through His resurrection and ascension from death to life.
He has more comfort for us than we can desire. He has more safety and security from all that we fear than we can comprehend.
He has left our storms voiceless.