“Soon a gale swept down upon them and the sea grew very rough…. They were terrified, but he called out to them, ‘Don’t be afraid. I am here!’ Then they were eager to let him in the boat…” John 6:18-20

It’s been said that while we’re all in the same storm we’re not all in the same boat. That should be obvious right now as some are suffering immensely while others are only enduring inconvenience. Linda and I are definitely in the latter category. We’re enjoying good health and a happy home, but we don’t want to forget those who are in great difficulty and jeopardy.

We take turns being insensitive. Many years ago in a place, far, far away, I was under enormous stress. During a meeting with the church elders they sincerely commiserated with me over the multiple crises we were facing. Finally, one said: “Alan, we’re in this thing together.”

I’m sad to say that I didn’t respond graciously. Out of deep anxiety and weariness I said, “Well guys, it’s like we’re in a great storm at sea. The wind is blowing, the waves are crashing and I’m getting hammered as I try to hang on for dear life in a tiny dinghy. Meanwhile you guys are all standing safely on the deck of the Queen Mary. You’re all leaning over the rail and shouting, ‘Hang in there, Alan, we’re all in this thing together.’ Well, we’re in the same storm but we’re not in the same boat!”

I felt overwhelmed and alone. There’s nothing worse than to go through a great challenge and feel that no one truly understands. Sometimes in a crisis our feelings can lead us astray. Sometimes in the midst of life’s chaos we can be guilty of the worst sort of  “stinkin’ thinkin’!” I know. That’s been me.

One key to surviving a crisis is to know we’re not alone. Sure we know that God is with us, but we also need to know that someone else truly gets it. We need to know that another human being not only cares, but also resonates with us and understands. There’s nothing more powerful.

Two questions:
  • If you’re facing a storm of some sort right now, who’s in your boat with you?
  • Does anyone else facing a personal storm know that you are in his or her boat?
Who needs to hear from you today? “If one part suffers, every part suffers with it…All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is part of it.” I Corinthians 12:26-27