The photograph shows a flooded forest. Grass and weeds are floating and branches have been torn by the wind. Nothing can stand against the fury of the wind.
Isn’t it strange how we talk about the fury of the wind, and the angry waves? We try to personify nature. Nature is a process and yes it is alive in the way that it grows and reproduces itself, despite our efforts. But it has no personality.
God on the other hand does. He created everything; time, space, matter, and life. He is a person. But when we talk about; God’s hand, God’s anger, God’s voice, God’s love, we must be talking about something that is far removed from our conception of those very things.
We have an echo of God’s attributes, just like there is a reflection in the water of the forest. But it is not the forest as it is only a two dimensional image on the water. Perhaps the attributes that we process given by God, are like two dimensional picture on the water?
25 For he commanded and raised the stormy wind,
which lifted up the waves of the sea.
26 They mounted up to heaven; they went down to the depths;
their courage melted away in their evil plight;
27 they reeled and staggered like drunken men
and were at their wits’ end.
28 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
and he delivered them from their distress.
29 He made the storm be still,
and the waves of the sea were hushed.
30 Then they were glad that the waters were quiet,
and he brought them to their desired haven.
There have been times where I have been in storms or extreme weather and I have escaped crashes and events with my life. When I have escaped those moments I have thanked God. But is this what it takes to wake us up to the presence of God, that we will call upon Him only in moments of extreme distress?
When the disciples were travelling over the lake and a storm blew up, they too only called upon the Lord when they were in distress.
37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. 38 But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?”
39 Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. 40 But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” 41 And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!”
Who indeed? Everyone in their life must make that choice, who is Jesus? He doesn’t leave us with a choice to sit on the fence with a, “there is not enough evidence one way or the other!” We have to choose!
We either think Jesus is God, and Mark’s gospel makes that clear from the very start. Or we have to make the decision that Jesus was the worlds best trickster, who had teams of tricksters all colluding in the worlds best illusion, and took that fact a secret to a torturous death – every single disciple?
I can see the reflection in the water and I see an image of the forest. Even if I didn’t look up at the forest I would have to believe with informed faith, that the woods did actually exist.
I see the stories and evidence from all other aspects of history, and my own personal experience with God and I again have to believe with informed faith that Jesus was a real historical person, He was and is, and is to come “one with God”.
I pray as the wind is howling against the attic windows, that God you bring your Spirit down upon all of us and take away those inhibitions to believing in your Son Jesus Christ. God take my moments of unbelief and reignite them with your Holy fire. I pray that we may serve you with every once of energy that we have, and do so with a glad heart. I pray that as the wind and sea obey you, that we too shall obey you in your holy commandments, which where not a feel good guide, but a command in how we should live.
Through Jesus Christ