The word “cancer” rattled around my brain like a pinball bouncing back and forth, looking for a place to land. A place to register. And then it dropped. Sinking into my heart. Shredding everything in its path.
As much as comfort can be our friend, it can also be our enemy. Have you ever been just fine where you are? Your health is good. You have plenty of money in the bank. Your job is secure. All of your kids are healthy. Life makes sense. God is behaving like he should, or at least like you think he should. And then Jesus says, “Follow me. You’ve learned enough by the lake. Let’s go in the lake.”
This is exactly what Mark records Jesus doing with his first disciples. Jesus shifts his location as he shifts his lesson.
The disciples found themselves in water instead of by water. It was getting dark. Evening was coming. And where there is water, there are also waves. Before long, these waves were threatening the very lives of these young followers of Jesus.
But if not for the storm, they would never discover the goodness and power and faithfulness of the God who was with them. Without fear, they would never know faith. Without hurt, they would never know hope.
It’s no wonder Mark records that Jesus was the only one unmoved by the storm. The chaos of the water and storm were no threat to Jesus. In fact, he was in the stern of the boat, sleeping on a cushion. At rest. This was going to be a lesson not for Jesus but for the disciples. And for us.
We need water to grow. And some lessons we can learn only in the midst of chaos, not in a classroom. And no matter how we get there, we can trust the God who meets us in our storm.