These days we often hear, “We are all in the same boat.”, in reference to these vastly different and difficult times. I must say that I do not agree. I believe that we are all in the same storm but in a whole variety of different boats. Each of us have our unique circumstances. We have our own storms within the storms. The boats of the well and the well off are in quite different condition from the boats of those not so well or well off. Some ride out the storm secure in watertight even luxurious vessels while others bail furiously in storm tossed coracles.
In the midst of the storm questions arise. One such question I have been pondering is “What is Jesus doing in while some of us bail?” Scripture, as always, helps me as I seek an answer to this query.
Jesus has just sent the disciples off in a tiny fishing boat when they find themselves in the midst of a gale. The are rowing across the storm-tossed lake in obedience to his orders. As they pulled on the oars making little or no headway while others probably bailed furiously, they must have asked my question. “What was Jesus doing while they suffered in the storm?” Was he oblivious to their peril? Was he uncaring in the face of their need? Why didn’t he do something? In their ignorance they may have asked all these things as I would have and in fact have! I say ignorance because though they may not have been aware of it, Jesus was doing something. He had ascended a mountaintop to pray!
Today in our storm and in all the individual storms within that blast, Jesus prays. He has ascended to the very right hand of God where he “ever lives to make intercession for us.” We read in Hebrews that Jesus having shared our human experience can sympathise with us and pray for us. James tells us that the prayer of the righteous “availeth much”. Though Paul in Romans reminds us there is “none righteous no not one” John in his epistle gives Jesus the title “Jesus Christ the Righteous”. Knowing that the fervent prayer of the righteous has such power I cannot think of anything I need more than for Jesus to be praying for me in the storm.
Jesus warned us of the storms “In this world you will have trouble” and then he invokes peace “I have overcome the world.”
I cannot be sure of much in this turbulent world, but I can be sure that sink or swim “I am my beloved’s and he is mine.” He may speak “Peace!” to the storm but knowing that he continues to pray for me He has spoken “Peace!” to my heart.
I have friends in much smaller and leakier boats and perhaps I help best when I join Jesus in prayer for them.
On another note, this week Street Hope Saint John moves into our new home. We had planned to do this with a bang. We had hoped to have a Grand Opening accompanied with a support raising campaign. None of that has happened but we are going forward, nevertheless. This will stretch us beyond anything we have yet experienced. We will be assuming expenses of operation of the building and renovations necessary at what may seem the worst time to be doing so. Please pray for us, and if you can help us financially we would much appreciate it.
Let us keep praying, after all it is what Jesus is doing!