Accessing Help and Acting in Faith During Life’s Storms
The Ministry of Jesus occurred on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, a freshwater lake in the northern part of Israel. While this body of water is 700 feet below sea level, the slopes of the Golan Heights to the east are as much as 2500 feet above sea level. Thus, the sea is subject to sudden and violent storms when cool air comes from the east and combines with warm hovering above the water.
During the time of Jesus’ ministry, one such storm occurred while He and his disciples were in transit across the water. The disciples woke Jesus, who was sleeping in the back of the vessel, saying, “Master, carest thou not that we perish?” (Mark 4:38). The boat was almost filled with water as the waves beat the ship. They needed solutions in that moment of desperation. Jesus responded and said to the sea, “Peace, be still” (v. 39). The wind stopped raging and the waves stopped crashing. He then asked His disciples, “How is it that ye have no faith?” (v. 40).
We too can sometimes feel as if the storms that rage around us are overwhelming, disconnecting us from the securities we once knew. Perhaps the conditions are ripe in our lives for a storm, whether that be due to a personal transition or a global pandemic. Here is what might happen with our bodies, minds, and emotions when a “storm” is raging. Our mind might perceive that there is a threat, then our body may experience a resulting rush of stress hormones along with a dip in neurotransmitters involved in promoting happy feelings. We might feel anxious, depressed, afraid, alone, revved up, or weighed down. Our body rhythms, including sleep, appetite, and energy, may be affected.
Adjacent to our thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations, another part of us may recognize that we are yearning for something. This might be that resilient strength deep down inside or even the voice of the Holy Spirit saying, “Hey, you can access help!” It might point us toward loved ones or even a counsellor. Like Jesus during the storm, these helpers might encourage us to find ways to act in faith before our boat is nearly sunk. We might begin to take little risks, such as being kinder to others or being easier on ourselves. No matter what storm we are facing, when we act on even a tiny amount of faith, we access power from within and from Jesus, who had the ability to calm the storm at the Sea of Galilee.
Jodie Purnell, MC, is a Registered Provisional Psychologist with the College of Alberta Psychologists and specializes in the areas of stress management and personal growth, as well as many others. For more information on Jodie and her work click here to link to her full bio page.