I recently watched a film called ‘The Perfect Storm’, about a fishing crew on board a ship caught in a hurricane. The film was very well done – I almost felt seasick as I watched the boat go up and down as the waves crashed into it and the winds howled. It really captured the desperate nature of a few men battling all the forces of nature, and unlike many films adapted from true stories, there was no happy ending for that crew or for their loved ones left behind. The storm battered them, and they lost their lives in it.
Many of us may feel like that at the moment. We may feel we’re in a storm. We may wonder if we’ll survive this period – either because we’re afraid of the virus or because we’re not sure our mental health will endure or because we’re not sure financially we’ll be able to cope with the recession to follow. But there is a difference for us, because God is with us in the storm. Just as Jesus was in the boat with the disciples when the fierce storm came upon them and ultimately calmed that storm and protected them (Mark 4:35-41), so too we can know that God is with us at this time, and that is what will see us through. Paul reminds us that nothing can separate us from God’s love (Rom 8:35-39). Our hope is based on all that Jesus has done for us and we trust in the fact that His sacrifice brings us back into relationship with God, a relationship that nothing at all can sever. Because of this, we have hope in every circumstance of life; we have an anchor that holds us steady.
Today, as we remember the Day of Pentecost, we can rejoice and have hope because God lives in us. He is permanently with us. Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 6:19); the Holy Spirit intercedes for us through wordless groans. (Rom 8:26) We have hope ultimately because God is with us and if God is with us, if God is for us, who can be against us? (Rom 8:31)