Jesus is with you in your storm. If you really see this you’ll experience the deep peace that guards your heart (Philippians 4:7).
Here’s a Scripture meditation to help you experience Christ’s loving presence with you:
Dark storm clouds pelted torrents of freezing rain on Jesus and the disciples, gale winds whipped their boat in circles, and wave after wave splashed into them and was swamping their boat. The disciples were rowing and rowing as hard and fast as they could to get out of the furious squall and make it safely to land, but they couldn’t make any progress – they were stuck in the middle of the sea and about to be thrown into the violent waters!
These experienced fishermen, burly and normally brave, were pale with panic. They were drenched in doom. And meanwhile, Jesus was sleeping peacefully!
Finally, they screamed at him in desperation: “Help Jesus! We’re going to drown! Don’t you care about us?” (See Mark 4:35-41.)
You can experience the miracle of peace!
Did you notice the hidden miracle of Jesus napping in Abba’s arms during the life-threatening storm? Taking heart from Jesus’ trust in God his Abba is the key to experiencing peace in our life storms.
In the Soul Shepherding Institute, one of the experiences we do as a group is to pray and reflect Rembrandt’s masterpiece painting of this Gospel story, The Storm on the Sea of Galilee. Then we share in Soul Talk and pray for one another.
We feel the stormy gale blowing in your face and the enormous waves tossing you up and down and splashing you with freezing cold seawater!
We feel the force of the trials in our life that threaten to sink our boat.
We see ourselves in one of the roles on the boat and the role we each play in our family, work, or other group.
Most important of all, in Rembrandt’s painting we find Jesus and his cross so we can experience more of Jesus’ peace in our life storms.
“Visio Divina” will bless you!
Spiritual Directors call meditating on a picture “Visio Divina.” Applied to a Bible passage, it’s an imaginative and refreshing form of Scripture meditation that helps us to enter into the narrative of Scripture and bring ourselves to Jesus. It’s similar to Lectio Divina or Ignatian Meditation [Our PDF resources we sell], except we use a picture to help us meditate on the Scripture.
Visual scenes from the Bible and other spiritual pictures can evoke deep personal emotions and needs that are important for us to pray about. This helps us to hear God’s voice, often in ways that offer surprise blessings.
A picture provides a generous space for us to project our unique self and life circumstances into so that we can then bring our whole self to God. What you see in a picture is probably different from what others see. So also, the message you hear from God, spoken to you in part through the picture, is personal to you.
A favorite Visio Divina experience we share in our Institute and in other settings when we speak is “Praying Psalm 23.”
We have a new set of beautiful and inspiring Visual Devotion Cards on Psalm 23 that we’ve produced to share with you for your personal devotions, small group, or ministry to others. You can purchase a set here.
More Breath Prayers
To pray a short verse or paraphrase of Scripture as a Breath Prayer is refreshing and empowering. It helps you learn to practice God’s presence all day and stay in tune with the peace of Christ. I’ve selected key verses of Scripture and developed step-by-step instructions for meditation, breathing rhythms, and prayer in “Breath Prayer Guides.”