16 June 2011

tHe sToRm cOmEs bEfOrE wE rEaCh tHe sHorE...

I was meditating this morning on the passage in Luke 8:22-25, when Jesus and his disciples got on the boat to reach the other side of the lake, and got stuck with an heavy storm...
I was quite familiar with the story, and the teaching of Jesus to his disciples (me included) of how little faith we have when we face different storms on the way...
Again I got confronted with the same question Jesus asked his disciples then : "- Where is your faith?"

what was different this morning was that I kept reading while I was trying to get familiarized with the context... that's when my perspective changed...


I would often focus my attention in the storm, thinking that Jesus knew all the time since he asked the disciples to get into the boat, that the storm would come and they would freak out about it... I would even think that Jesus was not actually sleeping but only pretending, waiting for the storm to come and for the disciples to come running after him for help...

But my attention was turned to the next story... why did Jesus wanted to cross the lake?

There was a man on the other side, who needed help... bonded by many years with demons who were stealing his life... That was the whole purpose of that trip, that was the main focus of Jesus... that's why he fell asleep and rested, for he knew he had something to do that would require his full attention...

But as often happens when we are on our way to do some good thing, storms come on our way to try to stop us ... whatever concept we have of "good" and "evil", we might be aware, in different ways, that there is a battle going on...
The disciples were not aware of what was awaiting them on the shore... they had no idea about that man who needed help... and not only that man, but the whole region who were able to recognize the power of God and the Good News of redemption...
All they could think of was that their lives were in danger...
They desperately run after Jesus in despair ( that sounds familiar to me)
Jesus simply (as it's described by Luke, who was not there at all) spoke to the winds and waves and told them to be quite... and surprisingly they obeyed...
Maybe Jesus was expecting his disciples to realize they could simply do the same...
but in their hearts they only thought: "- Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him."
How often we speak with creation? Definitely something not so practiced by most christians... brother Francis of Assisi would :-)... the celts would... few christians still do, some a bit afraid of being considered pagan or "heretic"...

But that is not the point I wanted to share, sorry about that...
What I learned today was that storms are more likely to be expected when we are following a good purpose in our lives... things will come our way to discourage us, to lead us to frustration, and ultimately to make us give up reaching the shore... trying to make us forget the reason why we are sailing on a fragile boat with this guy we don't fully know, called Jesus (who asked us to go on the boat in the first place) ... whether we are aware of or not (or believe in), there is an unseen battle going on between "good" and "bad" forces ( or energies, or spirits, or gods, whatever you call it) ...
And if we are carrying "good" wherever we are going, we will encounter struggles... we will face storms... we may even see our lives in danger...
it's not about us... it's about what we are carrying, and what/who we bring along...

"The Light shines in darkness...and darkness has never mastered The Light"
I believe this is true .

Yet, some may say, "darkness is nothing but the absence of Light"... and it's true...
it doesn't mean that darkness doesn't exist, but if we bring on Light, it simply fades or disappear...

Sometimes we are not so aware or sensitive to the spiritual realm/world... specially in Europe...
I say this because in Angola, for instance, it's very different... we can almost see it and touch it... there, they still view the world in an holistic kind of way, there is no separation in their minds between the spiritual and the material world...
here, we rationalize everything... some people are a bit extreme and demonize everything (specially natural things)...

For instance in this story, some people may see the wind and the waves as evil... but they are neither "bad" or "good"... all Creation is good... but as all things, they can be used in a "good" way or "bad" way...

Back to the story of Jesus and his disciples...
what was awaiting them on the other side was huge...
 "When Jesus stepped ashore, he was met by a demon-possessed man from the town. For a long time this man had not worn clothes or lived in a house, but had lived in the tombs.  When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell at his feet, shouting at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don’t torture me!”  For Jesus had commanded the impure spirit to come out of the man. Many times it had seized him, and though he was chained hand and foot and kept under guard, he had broken his chains and had been driven by the demon into solitary places."
This was the condition of that man... we can't even imagine... or we might resemble our own condition at times... 
he was not a "bad" man, but driven for many many years by evil forces who prevent him from being free, being himself...
I guess the disciples were even more amazed... this man Jesus, would not only speak to the waves and wind, but also with spiritual forces... and they would obey...


There's a lot more on that story, but I guess it was enough for me this morning...
My perspective has changed... my focus is not anymore on the storm, but the shore... :-)


I was thinking about my own life and  how exhausted I am from all these last month struggles... no money, many things getting broken and demanding more money, not being able to work because of my sprained wrist, etc... 
sometimes it just feels like giving up... and I ask myself "where is my faith?"


And a simple story like this one, changes my perspective... it reminds me that the shore is ahead, and I have no idea what that means, but I know I am to take some Light into dark places... I'm sure to expect some storms on the way... but always learn a lot more from each one :-) ... and hopefully grow a bit more ... 
again "faith is not to overcome our obstacles, it is for experiencing them." 


Have a good day !!!
May PEACE come into your storms... 
be reminded that you will reach the shore for a purpose... 
to shine the Light within you!!!

1 comment:

Munoz Family said...

Thanks Barbara!

That insight was very needed in my life right now. I actually did also realise wow, why dont we just talk to the elements too? Interesting!

I hope God continues to fill you with more amazing revelation....