As a Marriage and Family Therapist, I have taught my share of stress management classes over the years. Let me give you the short version:
#1 Our bodies are made to react to danger.
#2 This reaction is called fight or flight so that when danger comes, your body automatically makes your heart rate, blood pressure and breathing rate increase. Why? So you can fight or flee the danger.
#3 After the threat is gone, your body returns to normal.
Let’s say there’s a bear roaring at you in the woods. You are like “Oh no! It’s a bear!” Your body immediately gets all pumped up so it’s ready to either fight or flee the bear. This is pretty intense.
Part of stress management is recognizing that sometimes it’s not a bear. It’s a hamster, but you’re reacting like it’s a bear. Who knows what I’m talking about? There are days when I am so tense, I walk around reminding myself “Karen, there’s NO bear! RELAX!
But you know what? Sometimes, just sometimes… there really is a bear. And not some cuddly little cub but a ferocious, starving, man-eating bear.
There was a time when the disciples were dealing with just such a bear. Well, not a real bear but a real threat.
The disciples were in a boat on the Sea of Galilee when a deadly storm came up. Now if you are like me, you might be tempted to think that the disciples are a little ditsy at times so maybe they don’t know a deadly storm when they see one. But remember, some of the disciples were fishermen right there on the Sea of Galilee. So, I have to believe that if they say “We’re going to drown.” That this really was a very deadly storm. To fit our analogy, it wasn’t a hamster storm, it was a bear of a storm.
Now you may be wondering, “Where is Jesus during all of this?” He’s asleep in the front of the boat. Apparently, when you are the Son of God, it’s not that hard to sleep during deadly storms. So, the disciples do the smart thing, they wake up the guy that does miracles to help them out with the storm.
When I read this story in the Bible, I get the feeling Jesus wakes up and looks at them like they’re a little crazy. After calming the storm, Jesus says to the disciples “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?”
Now as a counselor, I have to tell you that being frightened on a boat in the middle of the Sea of Galilee during a deadly storm is not crazy- as a matter of fact, it’s a pretty normal reaction. So why is Jesus saying they should not be afraid? Because He knows you are storm proof. Jesus knows that through His resurrection He placed a part of Himself, the Holy Spirit, inside all believers. This is what has made you a new creation. This part of Jesus that is in you cannot be touched by death, or sin and certainly not cancer. That’s why even in the face of life’s ugliest storms, even in the face of cancer, we can hear Jesus saying “Do not be afraid. I have made you storm proof.” Doesn’t it make sense that there is no darkness, no storm, no pain and no cancer that can damage or even mark or blemish Christ within you?
The question is “When you are in the midst of the storm, do you remember when you struggle at times with fear that Jesus made you storm proof? Do you remember that as a new creation you have already been given all the strength and peace you need, if you remember to turn toward it.
So, in the stormy parts of your cancer remember, you are storm proof. So when the bears or the storms of life come knocking, picture Jesus sleeping in the boat and know that we too can miraculously turn away from our fears and rest.