Sunday, February 7, 2010


Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves. About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified…. But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here!” Mt 14

I have never been in a boat in a storm where the waves are churning the boat, sloshing over the sides and the wind is making it impossible to row without opposition. This boat was even populated by expert fishermen not unacquainted with rough seas and they were in fear.

I have however, been awake in the middle of the night with my stomach churning and worry stealing every vestige of my peace of mind over an unpaid bill, a dangerously disobedient child, a disagreement with a spouse that lasted past sundown, job difficulties, a son at war, a health problem, a disloyal friend. No matter how much I worried I never got to the safety of shore yet I hung on to that anxiety and chaos for dear life.

Our friend, Jane, has been learning Hebrew and has been sharing her discoveries with us. This gem was sent to several friends months ago but it has been a reoccurring blessing for me when anxious thoughts come.

Jane wrote:

“The letters of the Hebrew alphabet each have a pictographic meaning. Each letter is a picture that means something. These pictographic letters put together form words that have great meaning. Read the letters for Shalom from right to left.


The letter shin has a picture meaning of “teeth destroying", (but it's the letter for God, so it's God's destroying teeth)

The letter Lamed is a Shepherd’s crook and means “authority.”

The Vav is a nail and means to “bind together.”

The Mem Sofit represents “chaos.”

Add them all together and when you say the word “Shalom” you are not only giving a blessing of peace but you are also commanding, "May God destroy the authority that binds you to chaos.”

This is wonderful and such an inspiration.

When I consider this miracle of Shalom and I add to it the words of Jesus to the men in the boat, “Don’t be afraid. Take courage. I am here,” I can feel my pulse slow and with a deep sigh I release all anxiety as my little boat beaches on peaceful shores.

This is especially true when I consider that in the Greek what Jesus is really saying to those frantic, cold, wet men and to us as well is, "Don’t be afraid. Take courage. The I AM is here.”

If your life is an ocean of chaos it helps if the God you serve walks on water. It also helps if what is holding you up isn’t a leaky man made boat but the right and left hands of the great I AM.


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