The story in John 6 tells of the disciples crossing the sea of Galilee on their way to Capernaum.
The trip in the boat reminds us of what to do when we are in deep, turbulent waters, such as we are in today. When one is in turbulent water, it is difficult to navigate a boat. The gusty winds, massive waves, and often rain might turn the boat in a direction it does not intend to travel.
The first response is to try to steer the boat in the direction you want it to go and hope you reach the shore. However, often there are gusty winds, heavy rain and waters too turbulent to keep the bow pointing into the waves. Directing the boat seems impossible.
Being at sea in a boat often means there are times when you can only be still and wait for the waters and waves to calm down. The disciples were neither where they wanted to be nor where they wanted to end up. They could not even see the shore where they hoped to land. They could only sit still in the quiet of night and hope they would soon reach shore.
We are indeed in turbulent times that we have not seen before — unchartered waters. We don’t know where the pandemic is taking us or the result although we can see the impact as we wait for it to pass.
Transition of any kind brings about chaos. In waiting for the chaos to pass, prayer, meditation, and gratitude can be the atmosphere that we create while waiting for the turbulent waters to recede. Prayer, meditation and gratitude can fill the space where fear and panic try to live.
It is by creating the space to be still and positive that the chaos will pass, and we can travel on to where we were trying to go. As Barbara Yoder once wrote, "doubt and fear can be transformed into faith."
Just as God helped the disciples cross the sea of Galilee, we will get on the other side of this pandemic and look back and see grace. Unfortunately, the view backwards will be much more meaningful than the view from the boat.
As we navigate these turbulent times while we wait for the seas to calm, let’s continue to show compassion and kindness to one another and be grateful for life as it is now, even in this time of chaos.
Let us remember that better times are ahead, even if we can’t see them now. Together we can weather the storm. We know from this biblical account that the disciples got to the other side and so will we when we persevere through prayer and faith.
Gerry J. Tucker is the author of "Beside Chat, a book of meditations and inspiration, and a freelance writer. She is also a career coach and speaker. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.