I don’t know about you, but I suspect that each one of us has at least some understanding of the term “storms of life.” Some storms we move through and they are quickly forgotten; others take their toll and leave us forever changed. Yet, as people of faith, we understand that we are not alone and often we find that God’s spirit can bring us peace and even blessing- even in the midst of turmoil.
This week in worship, we will be continuing to look at the Gospel of Mark. This week’s lectionary text is the story of Jesus calming the storm. Dr. Bill Longsworth has included a prayer in his book, Seasons of Prayer, that speaks to this very scripture. I’ve included it as a means of preparing for worship next Sunday. And if you’re in the midst of a storm, I pray that it helps bring you closer to God’s peace.
Each and every one of us, O God, has been at sea in troubled water –
In a room in a hospital, while momentous surgery of a loved one is underway;
and we earnestly pray, “O God, if ever you hear me, hear me now!”
A relationship that ends and leaves emptiness and doubt,
wondering whether one can slog the path of loneliness one more time.
A long and valiant battle with a beloved’s cancer, a young mother,
a battle lost and one wonders amidst the anguish
how the broken pieces of life can be mended.
Chronic depression which leaves one feeling lost deep in a cave
wondering if the light will ever be seen again.
A phone call in the night that is our worst fear, an accident, a beloved child lost
and the days, weeks, years of struggle and emptiness that follow.
All of us, O God, know the earnestness of life and love;
all of us have been tossed and turned by our deepest fears.
And then, unpredictably, somewhere in the midst of the storm comes peace –
a confidence that regardless of the outcome, all will be well.
Was that you, O God, upon the water of our anguish and terror,
that stilled the storm and showed us peace?
— William Longsworth
(Copies of Dr. Longsworth’s Seasons of Prayer are available in the church office)