Lifeboat – Good News for January 31

31 01 2009

Mark 4:35-31

On that day, as evening drew on, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let us cross to the other side.” Leaving the crowd, they took Jesus with them in the boat just as he was. And other boats were with him.

A violent squall came up and waves were breaking over the boat, so that it was already filling up. Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a cushion. They woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”

He woke up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Quiet!  Be still!” The wind ceased and there was great calm. Then he asked them, “Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?” 

They were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this whom even wind and sea obey?”

The Daily Path: Today’s Gospel from St. Mark is not only timely for many of us, but it also mirrors recent events in my life. Very few remain untouched by the stormy global economy. Deep cost cuts are the focus of every business. Consumer confidence is dropping and jobs are vanishing. The bottomline is this: like the Apostles in today’s Gospel, people are afraid. 

I was afraid, too. I would lay awake at night wondering how to feed my family and keep a roof over their head. I prayed and prayed. Many other people were praying for me. And as I prayed I kept trying to work out a way to regain control over the situation and emerge from the serious financial trouble I was in. But the downward spiral continued. My boat was sinking fast.

As the months progressed I was encouraged to “turn these worries over to God.” This theme began to appear in more and more places in my life. God was actively using His marketing team to get through to me. Some of the most remarkable people I’ve ever met provided great counsel. Each in their own way put some of the weight I was carrying onto their own shoulders. Each of them told me that no matter how smart I was or how hard I threw myself at the problem, I was not in control and never would be. Like Jesus in the boat, each of them pointed to the only thing that could help… absolute faith that “God will take care of me and my family.” I had to hand my worry over to God with complete faith that He would provide.

Guess what? The message sunk in. Old Mr. Stubborn finally gave up. One Sunday at Mass I said to God: “I can’t do this anymore. I’m putting my burden up there on the altar. I’m leaving it behind. When I walk out the door… it’s yours.”

That’s when things began to change. A sense of peace replaced the  growing despair. I finally got some sleep at night. Other things began to happen. Encouraging signs here and there. Little positives that began to build into greater things. Friends and strangers rallying behind me. I was suddenly finding abundance where before I could only see an empty hole. Removed from the outcome I was growing strong again. God was taking control. 

I’m not completely out of the squall, but I’m no longer afraid. I now know that God is at the helm of my little boat. Not only is He steering a safe course home, He’s given me a blanket to keep out the cold. 

My friends, give your worries to God. Have complete faith that He will wrap you up and keep you safe. No matter how violent your own storm may be at the moment… turn it over and God will provide. I know this to be true.

Room to Chat: God, Thank you sending your advance marketing team my way. You really know how to get superior message retention, don’t you?

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