Every morning I’m waking up with heartbeats pounding like a Caribbean thunderstorm. It also feels like someone is anxiously waking me up to announce the soon arrival of a tornado.
Again, and again, and again.
Sure, I kind-of see why this is happening. My therapist called it, “acute transitional anxiety” – it’s the overwhelming sense of not being in control. The ugly process of trying to find your footing when there’s no solid ground to stand on.
The insecurity of not feeling secure.
My brain is aware that the change that is happening is good. That the opportunities are exciting. That the future
is bright could be bright. As the Chinese proverbs rightly states, “New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings. ”
Still, this is my storm.
His name is Transition.
And he’s a hurricane jerk.
Transition taunts me with category 5 thoughts, “You’re not prepared for this,” “You can’t handle what’s coming,” “You got the shingles for goodness gracious!”
Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you that last week I got the shingles. A painful reaction that usually happens to people over 65. A virus that arises purely from extreme stress.
Yes, my body is confirming what the jerk has been saying; declaring to the world, “Carlos can’t deal with what’s happening!” Also, this is my flesh announcing to myself, “no matter how much you tell yourself, ‘it’s all good’ … it’s not.”
Thank goodness I have Jesus… right?!
Well, Jesus is napping.
As he does so well during storms.
At the end of Mark chapter four, Jesus asked the disciples to get into their boats and travel through the night. He had a long successful day of ministry and it was time for quiet time. Unfortunately, a mammoth storm started to destroy their vessels, all while Jesus a siesta next to the rudder.
Yes! Right next to where old ships had their wheel… that’s where Jesus was napping. The captain sleeping comfortably, while his friends (and the sky) freaked.
Remember that some of these men were experienced fishermen, used to the madness of the sea… still, they ran to God and asked him desperately, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”
Yeah Jesus… don’t you care?
Can’t you see that we’re drowning here?
All because we went where you told us to go. Sailed at the time you told us to sail. Crossed the waters you told us to cross.
So I’m running to God again, not learning much from the story, and shouting, “Please wake up! For the love of yourself stop this devilish storm! I don’t care that you will question my faith and my trust. I’m not concerned with appearing in control or feeling courageous… I just need this storm to stop!”
Or at least Jesus, teach me how to nap through it.
Which one will it be?
“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.” ― Corrie Ten Boom
What would Jesus do?
That’s the earthly question.
Well, he would nap. That seems to be the godly answer.
Since I am being unsuccessful in controlling my storm… I’m beginning to believe that his napping is a lesson; the lesson being, Be still, and know that I am God. (Psalm 46:10)
That directly implies that I’m not God.
– “Duh!” says my wife in the background –
So can I be ridiculously simplistic with you? Can I offer the most elementary of solutions?
Let’s go take a nap.
Like intentionally, let’s take a nap.
When the storms are raging, let’s take a nap.
When the winds are pounding, let’s take a nap.
When the boat is flooding, let’s take a nap.
And I suggest this confidently because the Kingdom of God belongs to little children, and little children are great at napping.
(Well, most of them are.)
Maybe it’s time we resist the temptation to control something that is obviously out of our control. Maybe we just need to radically accept the fact that Transition is here, and in the midst of his jerk-ish ways, we radically embrace this truth: Christ is in my boat!
Now, the lie would be to believe that Jesus doesn’t care. The truth is that he loves us so much that he’s showing us a superior way. Because they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. (Isiah 40:31)
Let the yawns of heaven invade your anxiety.
Let the rest of God flood your space.
Because, as the brilliant writer Jonathan Martin says in his brilliant book How To Survive A Shipwreck,
“There is no walking into the kingdom of God, or into the grace of God. We can only be carried.”
The time will come to fight and roar and be bold as a lion. But today, a nap is in order for you and me. A radical statement to our current storm that although we are capable of fighting and raging, today we choose to rest in the mystery of God.
Carried to the other side.
People say, when it rains, it pours.
Jesus says, when it storms, I nap.
Let’s join him.
Enjoy your holy zzzz.
+ Read More: When You Have Good Reasons To Be Disappointed With God.