Growing up in the Rio Grande Valley (five minutes north of the border of Mexico) meant we had two seasons: Summer and My-Sunglasses-Melted-In-The-Car-So-Can-We-Please-Get-Back-to-Summer Summer. When temperatures dipped into the mid-60s for all of five minutes, people donned parkas and Uggs. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the non-scorching summer months. God blessed us with the rustling of palm fronds from Gulf of Mexico breezes. The occasional hurricane saturated the soil but foretold that God would kiss the air with the decadent aroma of orange blossoms and grace the trees with lemons, grapefruits, and navel oranges. After I left home to attend college and attempt adulthood, I lived in the Hill Country, Austin, and eventually settled northeast of Dallas. The further north I journeyed, the more seasons I enjoyed. I even experienced snow a couple of times! We had a saying in Texas: “If you don’t like the weather, wait a minute…”
In the Valley, that saying didn’t apply because temperatures vacillated between tolerable, hot, and ghost-pepper hot. But in the Dallas area, the saying made sense.
Than I moved to Oklahoma. And I am pretty sure the “Texas” saying finds its origins here, in the Sooner state.
A couple of weekends ago, God smiled on us with this picture-perfect sky. The clouds danced, regally, elegantly amidst the cerulean canvas. I grabbed my camera, snapped a few shots then went back inside.
I placed my camera back in its case, sat in my chair, picked up my book and the door opened with my hubby beckoning me outdoors to take in the magnificent sky.
“Saw it,” I said. “Even have the pictures to prove it.” (I’m an indoorsy person, so I have to take pictures to prove I’ve actually ventured outside…)
“Not that sky. The new one,” my hubby said.
New sky? Seriously?
“And bring your camera,” he said, closing the front door behind him.
Book down, camera in hand, I headed outside. Again.
Exhibit B (or what I saw…):
Maybe three minutes had elapsed between the first and second pictures.
Three short minutes turned dancing clouds into rumbling, boiling, churning clouds. My brilliant blue sky lie buried beneath an angry black and grey bruise.
Seeing such a rapid transformation made me realize just how quickly our personal sky can change.
A car accident, a prayed-for pregnancy, cancer test results, a marriage proposal. From one minute (or second) to the next, our world is different.
The disciples experienced this in a very literal as well as metaphorical way when they were on a boat in the middle of the Sea of Galilee. One minute, everything was blue skies and peace. The next minute, the storm rolled in and knocked around their boat and their faith.
They panicked and woke the sleeping Messiah. Rather than address their obvious lack of faith in Him, He commanded the storm, “Silence! Be still!” (Mark 4:39a). One commentary I read said that “Be still” in the Greek meant to not only calm down, but to remain calm.
That is interesting to me. Remain calm. Though He was speaking directly to the storm, He was also speaking to His disciples…and to us. No matter the weather, we need to remain calm.
Once the wind and waves obeyed His charge, He turned to His disciples and asked why they were so afraid. “Do you still have no faith?” He asked. After all they had witnessed, all Christ had said and done, they still wavered, doubted.
It’s easy to get caught up in the stormy moments of life and let the diagnosis, the test result, the breakup, the accident dictate our actions and reactions. But we need to remember that underneath the black and grey sky waits a sky of peace and light. If only we could remain calm.
If only we could never lose faith, and remember that, though Christ may be sleeping, He will still the storm.