Around the 5th grade, I was diagnosed with ADD. I don’t think the “h” part was included back then, but hyperactive I was. (Yoda?) Anyway, what that meant then, and what it means now, is that every stimulus comes into my brain at the same volume. In a classroom it meant a conversation taking place just outside the door, children playing on the playground, the teacher speaking to the class in front of me, the pictures on the wall and the thoughts in my head were all competing for my attention with equal success, or failure. Grown-up Jane is little different.
There is a lot of noise around me this very day. The mundane but still necessary responsibilities of house work, the more energizing relationships that need attention, the long range “projects” (moving, adopting, book publishing…to name them specifically) that must be moved forward even if just barely, children can’t be ignored, schedules have to be kept and suddenly that waiting room I was trapped in for years feels like a tornado hit it…and my heart.
Those disciples in the boat weren’t stupid, they were fully human. They were headed out on the water with one thing in mind and something unexpected happened. Not only were their expectations tossed to the wind, their bodies were physically tossed by it…and the waves. They could barely keep their bodies connected to the boat, least to say their thoughts and understanding connected to the person and work of Jesus. Just like the Israelites wandering in the desert, in need of Moses’ explanation of the big picture into which their current moment fit, the disciples needed to be reoriented, just as I do today.
No detail of our life’s story’s script “just happens”. Each detail has the person and work of Jesus in mind, even if simply to show me why it is that I need Him. But better than just my need, Jesus reveals Himself as the satisfaction of my need. In the case of the stormy sea, and in the case of my current stresses, He reveals Himself as the rest I am longing for, even in the chaos.
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Is. 41:10
When all of the unknowns of life, (will our home actually close on May 12th?, will we get the construction loan we need to renovate the next one?, where will we live in the meantime…as in three weeks from now?, will our home study be completed in time to get a referral to even hold our child before my sister’s wedding in December?, what if I’m in Africa and miss her wedding?…to name a few) take on a louder volume in my heart than the One Who is Known, I am filled with fear (even under the name “anxiety”, it’s the same thing).
He is asking me to believe Him more than my fears. He is asking me to trust Him more than my own understanding, knowledge of certain answers I’d like to have or any other structure I want to depend upon rather than Him. Will He give me everything I want, rescue me from the things I fear, and make me victorious? Better than that, He will give me Himself even in the fire, flood, stormy boat ride and circumstances of daily life, and His person and work will be victorious in restoring His image in me. As my friend Anne recommended this very morning, “Ask Him to help you see beyond the visible into (and until you see) the invisible…and the face of the One who loves you dearly.”
But now, this is what the LORD says— he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. Is. 43:1