That Sinking Feeling

“…when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink.” Mt. 14:30 NIV

“I don’t know what happened! I was doing so good!” Jeanie lamented.

Are you familiar with the storms of life? If you are a cancer patient or loved one, my guess is that you have been through a few.

Jesus called Peter toward Him on the stormy waters of the Sea of Galilee. Peter walked on water. But when he looked down, he started to sink.

Jeanie was diagnosed, got through chemo, some serious side effects, and surgery. She did very well, and praised God for the peace He gave her through it all.

And then one day, as she glanced at her appointment card for follow up blood work and x-rays, she slipped into fear and discouragement. Even though she managed to get through the tough stuff a few months before, the calming peace was gone. She cried for several days, unable to get her emotions in check.

Just as Jesus reached down and grabbed Peter’s hand and brought him to safety, we too are safe. But sometimes when we think we are past the trouble and should have a free-floating, uninterrupted peace, it disappears.

Jesus tells us that here on earth we will have many trials and sorrows. That much we know. We also know, like Peter and Jeanie, we don’t have to give in to the fear and discouragement. Jesus is always willing to reach down for our hand to lift us.

So why the sinking feeling?

Worry, fear, anger, disappointment, even weariness may become internal accusing questions. Aren’t we supposed to be strong? Unafraid? Courageous? Upbeat and joyful? Do we not know Jesus promised never to leave or forsake us? Have we forgotten Jesus will lift us out of the stormy waters?

If not checked our thoughts will bring a sense of guilt and self-judgement, storms all their own. It is not an uncommon cycle for someone dealing with cancer trauma.

Some simple reminders helped Jeanie. She shares them with others dealing with cancer, as follows.

Storms will come to Christians living on earth. We are people, not super powers.

We will never like the storms.

We will at times become alarmed, upset, afraid, angry and frustrated.

It isn’t unusual to experience these feelings.

It helps to remember each storm is a single event.

It will pass.

We will get through it.

Our Savior can lift us.

We are unsinkable when we allow Christ to walk with us. He will. He does. Ask Him.