Maybe today you’re the one clinging to the edge of the boat, fighting to hold on. Every muscle in your body is tense. Wind, rain, and crashing water beats against your heart. It’s dark, too dark to see. And you’re nauseous, dizzy, spitting water and bile.
Or maybe you’re the one working hard, heaving bucket-fulls of water. Furious in your efforts. Alone. You double down. Work harder. You’ll survive this storm. One way or another. It all depends on you.
Or perhaps you’re the other one. The brave one. The guy who peers into the darkness, sees his beloved, and cries out for an invitation. “I’ll walk on the water. Call me.”
Can you see yourself in this story? Who are you? What are you doing?
The gospel stories are about you, too.
We’re all present, our stories, in each written chapter of the text. Our lives unfold in scenes familiar despite the years and miles that separate us from characters and contexts of the printed pages.
Where are you today? In a storm frantically bailing water? In sunshine enjoying the sweetness of life? Or are you sitting by the side of the road crying out for a miracle?
Ask the Spirit. “What gospel story am I in, today?”
Pause. Wait. What comes to mind? Is there a story? Look around. What you doing? Believing? Feeling?
Let’s imagine you are in the storm. You’re the one heaving water, terrified, thinking you’re all alone, believing everything depends entirely on you.
Good. You’ve found your story in a gospel story, in a place where Jesus showed up. Now look for him. It’s a simple prayer. “Lord Jesus, where are you?”
Perhaps, you assume you’ll see him walking on the water. But maybe that’s not what happens. Maybe, in your prayer, he’s already in the boat. He’s telling you something only you can hear. You know it’s him because you know his voice. You listen and put down your bucket. For the first time in weeks, you rest, knowing that your life is in God’s hands, even when the storm rages around you.
The gospel story is about you, too.