Read Matthew 8:23-27
Storms come in all different forms. Some storms affect individuals, some affect family or social groups while others like the current pandemic affect everyone!
On social media I have seen many posts regarding the pandemic but there are two which resonate with me regarding this passage, both with pictures.
One is a single boat in a storm, with the caption ‘We’re all in the same boat’. At first glance this is a good representation of what is happening. We are all facing the same risk of infection from the Coronavirus. All humans are vulnerable to this infection and no one has a treatment no matter what our abilities and positions of importance, rich or poor we could become ill with it.
The other, I feel is a better representation. It is a picture of many boats of different sizes and abilities in a fierce storm with the caption ‘We’re all in the same storm but very different boats’. Some are in a rowing boat, some are in a sailing boat, others are in well-equipped ships – all are in the same height of storm!
A rowing boat will be lucky to survive, a sailing boat will probably do better, while the largest ships will suffer the least impact.
This storm like many others highlights inequalities and injustice.
Some families in our country have reasonable financial support from our government thanks to furlough while others are in serious financial difficulty with little support e.g. someone on a zero hours contract will have to apply and wait for benefits which will probably be less than if they were furloughed from regular work.
Some can keep busy in their home and garden, while others are struggling in inadequate accommodation desperate for more outside space than their daily exercise in city centre streets provides. Even these families have more than some world communities who live in tents or shacks in camps or shanty towns, without running water to wash hands regularly, let alone the space to be observing social distancing or isolate if required.
Understandably some people are stressed, anxious and afraid, just like the disciples were. And like for the disciples the magnitude of the storm or the size and capability of our boat is less relevant than who is in the boat with us. With Jesus in our boat we will do better than the boats without Him. Jesus will bring calm and peace to our hearts and minds, even during our greatest storms. He will keep our boat on a straight course to the Father, and He will lead us in ways we can help and support others in our community, country and world be that a deed, a donation to a cause or prayer for a particular situation.
So, we can trust Jesus to see us safely through this storm. Even if we become ill, he will see us safely to the other side – be that in recovery here or joining him in eternity.
Is Jesus in your boat? If not he is waiting to board, he just needs invited.
What is Jesus leading you to do in this crisis?
Father thank you for sending Jesus to be in our boat. Thank you for the peace, calm and comfort He brings in this storm. Help us to be guided by the Spirit to show your love to others in our church, community and world. Hear our prayers for the situations which we feel powerless to help with. Guide our leaders and governments as they seek a way forward in the current crisis, help the scientists and researchers to find a vaccine and treatments for Covid 19. Provide practical assistance to communities in the world without basic sanitation and accommodation. Amen.