I watched Prime Minister Justin Trudeau address the nation today at 1 pm re. COVID -19 and the measures we are to take to try to contain this virus. It’s like a storm around the world, invading our country and our communities.
I am reminded of the story in the bible of Jesus in a boat with the disciples, crossing the Sea of Galilee, and a mighty storm breaks loose, with waves crashing over the boat; the disciples are terrified that they are going to drown; they can’t control this storm or take charge of their boat any longer; they are on the point of perishing, and they are completely subject to this hostile environment around them. Jesus is asleep in the stern while all this is going on.
Think of the virus swirling around the globe as this storm. The crashing waves getting into the boat represent the virus getting into our country! Each wave is the virus getting into each province! And our towns! We start to panic. The disciples in the story wake Jesus up and say – “We’re going to drown! We’re going to drown! Don’t you care?”
And in another devotional I read (yes, I read a devotional daily), it explained this about Jesus and these circumstances: “While he may have been in the storm, he was not subject to it.” And that really made me think. Jesus wasn’t indifferent to the storm. He wasn’t indifferent to the plight of the disciples. Jesus wasn’t subject to what was going on around him. They – everything that was happening – was subject to him.
The person writing the devotional says: “I had been feeling as if Jesus were asleep. I was having doubts about Jesus caring for me. Work, family, and financial storms had me feeling battered and disregarded. I was losing hope that Jesus could handle my circumstances. This story compelled me to confront Jesus with my doubts. Storms don’t rattle him. While we are afraid and swamped, he is calm and invites us into his care. He calls us to take courage in knowing that everything submits to him at his command.”
Imagine us waking Jesus up and saying: “Jesus, we’re in the midst of a terrible virus. It is threatening our lives. It’s swirling around us. Don’t you care? Don’t you care about us? Save us!” And Jesus does care. In the story, he stands up and says “Peace!” And the storm stops.
This virus is going to stop. But we may have to endure the waves in the midst of this storm for awhile. But Jesus is with us. He’s not subject to this virus. Let’s pray for him to be the calm presence in the midst of this chaos, and pray for Jesus to bring his peace into the midst.
May we be that peace and calm presence to others. Help others in the midst of this storm, wherever and whenever you can. And pray for our scientists and doctors that they find a cure. Ask God to help them. These waves aren’t going to drown us! We will be brought safely to the shore, just like the disciples.