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“And Jesus said to them, ‘Why are you afraid, you of little faith?’ Then Jesus got up and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.”

Matthew 8:26

On Saturday of last week, the wind was incredible with some wind gusts over 30 miles per hour. That morning, I was driving from Sun Prairie to the Westside of Madison. As I passed by the shoreline of Lake Mendota, I pulled over to look at the waves and whitecaps on the lake, which were crashing into a wall along the shore with impressive force. As each whitecap wave hit the wall, the water shot up several feet in the air. I watched for several minutes and was awed at the power of the wind and the waves.

When I was driving back several hours later, I was curious if the waves were as strong so I detoured toward the lake again. The wind had subsided somewhat and so had the waves. The waves were steadily rolling into shore and lapping against that same shoreline wall with an almost rhythmic sound.

I was traveling that same route again this past Saturday and the contrast was noticeable. Saturday was an unseasonably warm and beautiful November day and the lake was calm and almost glass-like. I thought, what a difference a week makes. And isn’t that true with most of life…what a difference a week makes and sometimes what a difference a day or even a couple of hours makes.

Watching the changing contrast of the lake going from crashing to rolling waves and then smooth calm, the Serenity Prayer came to my mind: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Serenity means being calm and peaceful. When the waves of life come crashing to the shoreline of our lives, may we hold to our faith promise that the rolling waves and eventually calm waters reveal a God who is present and a God who cares and that serenity will follow.