Thursday, December 18, 2008
Calming the Storm
Last night my dear friend Sherri, brought me a picture painted by Julius Sergious Von Klever of “Christ Walking on the Water.” Since it is one of my very favorite New Testament stories, I remember it well . I remember empathizing as I read about the apostles shrinking in terror as they saw Jesus approach on the stormy sea. What could it be except some horrible monster! And they feared that even a greater harm than the storm was coming. But sensing their fear Jesus called out over the sound of the storm, “Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid” (Matthew 14:27). Every time I’ve glanced at the painting today those words have rung joyfully in my mind.
Then I had to put the words into practice. This afternoon they drew blood, took vitals, and banded me in preparation for tomorrow. One of the things the nurse did was to explain the measurement of pain. “They’ll be using a scale of 0 to 10,” she said, “with 0 being no pain and 10 excruciating pain. It’s best to try to keep the pain at five or under.” Then she looked down at my chart and remembered the procedure I would be going through. “Oh, but in your case we just hope we can get it down to a five. You are going to be in a really, really lot of pain.” She emphasized that last sentence by raising her eyebrows and shaking her head.
Obviously, those words failed to comfort me in any way. Instead they shifted my focus to the storm, but I knew I couldn’t go there. And so I shut my eyes and remembered the picture of my Savior walking on the water. I’m learning that if I keep myself focused on the Man who calms the storms instead of on the storm, I am instilled with good cheer despite the howling winds.