My copy of Russell Moore’s book, The Storm-Tossed Family, arrived this weekend. Russell:
These families of ours can be filled with joy, but will always make us vulnerable to pain. And the joy and the pain are pointing us to the same place: the cross. Nothing can show you that you are loved and that you belong like family–and nothing can strip away your crafted pretensions and comforting illusions like family [p. 3].
As I share this, I’m thinking that friends are in different places with their families. Some of you are in a real time of thankfulness for the love in your families, and some of you are hurting with pain. Both point us to the cross that symbol of God’s love, the pain that comes from love, and the hope that arises through love.
To my friends whose lives and families are storm tossed right now, you may want to recall the biblical story that Russell cites in the first chapter of his book. On a storm-tossed sea, with Jesus asleep in the boat, the disciples panicked. “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” (Mark 4:38). Jesus spoke to the storm, “Peace! Be still.” And peace came.
The storms of life do not respond too well to me. All I know is to give them to God, which isn’t easy for those of us who like to fix things.
Russell sites another storm and a boat with those same disciples.
Jesus, again was preternaturally calm, walking out on the storm-tossed waters themselves. When Peter attempted to join him, though, he was knocked down, not so much by the storm as by his own panic. . . . Jesus, of course, grabbed him by the hand [p. 4].
Peter took it.
May we today take Jesus’ hand of help in the midst of our panic. That “hand” is sufficient.