By Nancy Virden (c)2020
I need a higher power. This is not because I cannot function without a crutch, but if someone wants to say that, so be it. I know the difference.
That is because my reliance on a higher power is not an emotional manipulation to make me feel better. No, that would be an addiction to food, definitively a crutch, not a higher power. My higher power is not a convenient excuse to act selfishly. No, that would be a character flaw. We could name crutches and consequences all day, but that is not helpful.
My Higher Power is the one who took a nap in a storm and survived potential drowning as he snoozed. He is a person, nonhuman, supernatural, and divine. He trumps all other powers. Yes, that’s the kind of height I want my higher power to have.
One evening, Jesus was in the middle of the Sea of Galilee in Israel. Some men were with him in the boat frantically trying to row the vessel through a sudden storm. They felt terrified; he slept.
The Galilean sea is actually a great freshwater lake. It is not unusual for east winds to come down from low mountains creating unpredictable weather events and furious six-foot waves. Jesus lay undisturbed.
This was not a big ship, it was an ancient-style fishing boat about 25 feet long, 8 feet wide, and at its tallest point above water, maybe 5 feet high. It was easily overwhelmed, and as a flat-bottom boat, filled quickly. The men were losing the fight. Jesus dozed.
Everyone was wet, probably cold, maybe sick to their stomachs at the fierce rocking. They slipped, hung on tightly, and yelled in fright, adding to the clamor of crashing waves and roaring winds. Jesus napped.
You know what finally got him up? Some of the men had to purposely wake him. I can imagine them screaming in his ear, “Don’t you care? We’re going to drown!”
The Highest Power reacts
Jesus knew he was not going to drown in a lake. God, his Father, was not about to allow wind to interrupt the mission they had prepared since before the earth was made. The men who were aboard, disciples of Jesus, also had been chosen for this purpose. Their jobs were not done; no one was dying early.
But the men did not know that. The Highest Power, Jesus Christ, has an all-seeing perspective humans do not have.
He stood, “rebuked the winds and said to the waves, ‘Be quiet! Be still!”’, and there was calm. One could say the Sea of Galilee took a nap too.
Jesus is not only my highest power, he is the highest power over my storms. I’ve never seen any of my attempts at crutch-bearing accomplish anything but harm. There comes a time to admit when someone is better equipped.
Life’s storms are rough. Jesus shows that in worst-case scenarios he is still in charge. I choose to study his Word, listen to biblical teaching, let him strengthen my faith, and rest.
You can too! Set your mind at ease; take a nap. Let the storm swirl.
Today’s Helpful Word
In peace I will lie down and sleep,
for you alone, Lord,
make me dwell in safety.
Always the Fight Ministries (ATFM) has been displaying compassion for those fighting mental illness, addiction, or abuse since 2012. Nancy is the founder and voice of ATFM and openly shares her emotional resurrection from despair.
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NOTE: I am not a doctor or a mental health professional, and speak only from personal experiences and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.
If you are feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.
If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. or go to your nearest emergency room. In the EU call 112. (For other international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!
*Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright (c) 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.., Carlo Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved