When our sons asked my husband and me to join them boogie boarding recently - wet suits and all - I felt a little reluctant. But we couldn't help being caught up in their enthusiasm. And waiting for the big waves to peak so we could catch a good ride turned out to be the most fun we'd had in quite some time.
Nobody was boogie boarding the night Jesus caused some very violent waves to cease on the Sea of Galilee, bringing "a great calm" (see Mark 4:37-41). But I thought of this Bible account when my family was riding those waves of the Pacific - probably because I wanted to feel God was in control of the whole situation, keeping everyone safe. And that's what Jesus showed.
A week earlier, our older son had come down with the flu. He spent many hours in discomfort. Although I was there to comfort him, it seemed we just had to ride it out. Our neighbor assured us this kind of flu would sweep through the whole family by the weekend. Well, I felt grateful that the rest of us were fine that weekend. But the following week our younger son woke up with the first symptoms of this same condition. I dreaded the hours ahead.
Then I remembered our day at the beach, and how Jesus calmed the sea. And I thought, "He caused the winds and waves to cease, and there was a great calm." As this occurred to me, I thought of these waves of sickness as ceasing.
Since God made all that is real, and everything God made is good (see Gen. 1:31), these flu symptoms could not have reality. I began to pray by reasoning in this way. If God hadn't caused this condition, it couldn't have any cause. Nor any substance. Nor any law.
As I continued to pray, I felt more peaceful, and I noticed our son had fallen asleep. When I woke up in the morning, I saw he had slept peacefully through the night. The healing message Jesus taught had again calmed the "waves." Our son went on to have yet another happy day at the beach.
The psalms tell of God's power to calm and heal, physically and mentally. "Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth" (46:10). "The Lord on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, yea, than the mighty waves of the sea" (93:4).
Shortly after that, our older son was caught in waves of a different kind. He felt helpless about the negative dispositions of people he worked with. He couldn't stand to be around any of them and wanted to quit his job right then.
I again remembered the lesson I'd been learning and shared some of these spiritual ideas with him. He immediately calmed down. He resolved to look for the good in the people at work. He had a real desire to understand the relationship to God, to good, that he and all the others each had.
A few days later his employer needed to lay off two part-timers, and our son volunteered to leave so that two others could stay. He saw this as the way to resolve the problem amicably. It blessed everyone mutually. And very soon another job offer came along, which he accepted. He has never been happier in a job in his life!
Jesus walked over the waves of sickness and evil because of what he knew about God as divine Love. About our relationship to God as His beloved sons and daughters. No storm could sweep him away. No wave could pull him down. The ideas discussed here express the law of God that Jesus taught. The Christian Science textbook describes one of these laws this way: "The transmission of disease or of certain idiosyncrasies of mortal mind would be impossible if this great fact of being were learned, - namely, that nothing inharmonious can enter being, for Life is God" (Mary Baker Eddy, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," Pg. 228).
Through understanding the laws of God, we can begin to follow the example of Jesus, calming the storms of fear, discouragement, illness, despair. We can still them by expressing such spiritual qualities as calmness, love, courage, joy, dominion.
Now our younger son is asking to go boogie boarding tomorrow. The anticipation heightens. Sounds like another rewarding experience in the making.