I’ve been down in Georgia for several days, luxuriating in the hospitality of my family. The busy of the workaday life seems far away, but not the worry that so often accompanies it. Worry has become entrenched in me, the way rain washing even over the hardest rock will eventually wear grooves, and with enough time and pressure, those grooves can become rivers, set in deep canyons while the waters flow toward the source.
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that hold your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.
One night, the sea nearly destroyed the boat of the apostles, until the Lord said “Peace, be still-” but only at the last moment. Or, what appeared to be the last moment. He appeared to be annoyed that the disciples thought it necessary to rouse Him. What if they hadn’t? Would the storm have abated of itself, or would he have arisen by Himself and rebuked the sea?
The image we are supposed to take is that of the sea quieting down. What strikes me are the horrifying minutes on the boat during which the disciples said, “Christ is here with us, and yet we founder.” The idea that the saviour is among your midst and yet the storms not only come, but come stronger still. When the idea that our own pleasure and security, while they are our own greatest aims, are not God’s, and that we must abandon our plans for His, really sets in, there is a period of darkness. One is not afforded the luxury of agnosticism, because one knows full well what he believes. One must go on in the face of the terrifying thought that our worst fears are not incompatible with God’s plan.