A friend of mine had a slightly-dangerous-yet-retrospectively-amusing experience a couple of weeks ago.
He was cycling to work.
As fast as he could.
And being slightly out of breath, he took a deep gasp of fresh air, whilst cycling at great speed…
… And inhaled a wasp.
This actually happened.
He began to choke on the wasp, to try and dislodge it from the back of his throat, and in the process, fell right off his bike.
So now on the floor, on his knees by the side of the road, the wasp continued to be lodged, and then began to sting him in his throat. Ouch, ouch, ouch.
In a final desperate choking plea, he reached his fingers down his throat, and physically pulled the wasp out, making himself sick in the process.
And then realised, to his relief, that he was ok, alive, and immensely relieved.
Are you getting the dramatic effect? Are you really?
We laughed about the extremity of this a few days later… But at the time I’m sure it was pretty terrifying.
One of those moments where life is going along routinely, smoothly, and happily… When something unexpected, seemingly small, potentially dangerous, flies from nowhere and throws everything of course.
Maybe not in wasp terms, but I think we can all think of times where moments like that have happened. Something we don’t see coming, that threatens to knock us out of our journey for God, or shake our hope or our joy, or steal our peace. Moments where all of a sudden we feel like we’re by the side of the road, choking on something unpleasant and not even really sure how we found ourselves there so quick.
A bit like the disciples when they were in that storm. They got in the boat full of faith and full of peace. Jesus had done awesome things and He was with them. And they were at sea doing what they did well. When all of a sudden a wild storm hit. And they panicked in a fighting-a-wasp-like-way. They were metaphorically on the side of the road struggling to breathe.
But Jesus, He was sleeping. Resting in the promise of His Father and the certainty that they would reach the other side.
And I guess that’s my thought. That we can’t always predict the things that throw us off course. But we can fix our hearts on and our attention on Jesus. We may panic sometimes. But we can cry out to the one who gives us true Shalom peace. We may not always see the way forward. But we can trust the promise of the One who says we will make it through the storm and safely to the other side.
This is true.
And just like my friend can look back on his ordeal, and laugh, because from a place of healing and safety, he sees the craziness of it. So, when we have persevered through because of all Jesus has done, we can look back with joy and thankfulness in His great rescue and His safe embrace.
Which is true.
My friend Matt, the victim of the ferocious wasp attack, wished to be named in today’s blog post in order to gain maximum sympathy from the ordeal. So Matthew John Finlayson, here you go. Milk it. Milk it for all it’s worth.