One of the first things we learnt about Star is how much she loves books.
I mean she REALLY loves books.
She will spend ages sat on her bedroom floor looking at book after book after book.
One of the first stories I ever read to her was the Lost sheep. It was a very simple version with chunky pages. I read it twice. On her first night with us and on her 3rd. To our knowledge she had never heard a bible story before. What a weekend that was for Star, she had travelled hundreds of miles, moved into a new home met her brother and sister for the first time. She had slept in a new room. She had tummy ache. The list goes on.
The second time I read the book I noticed something…. She was trying to join in. After I had read the story I gave it to her and she turned the pages.
On one she mimed counting…
And then looking…
And then finding.
I was amazed. And that’s when it hit me..Star you are brilliant. You understand and you remember this story. Even though you have only heard it twice and you only have a few words you are trying to tell and sign the story back to me.
And this has become a pattern. We read the story and Star likes to try and tell it back.
So tonight, I thought I would tell you Star’s all time favourite story in her own words.
You will have to imagine her wide eyed gesturing to you and telling you what happens as she turns the page of her favourite book with big pictures.
“Jesus, sleeping (in the) boat”
“Wake up Jesus”
“Jesus (wakes up)”
Star stops her retelling of the story there. If you ask her what happens when Jesus says “stop” she will tell you that the waves stopped. However Star has a definite understanding that because Jesus says it, it will happen.
“Peace be still.” Says Jesus and the storm stopped.
Had I been in the boat like the disciples I would have been afraid and wondered “who is this man – even the wind and waves obey him?”
However, my daughter- my precious, brilliant girl, who knows what it is to live through big scary storms; she is content to know, that when Jesus says stop (or peace be still )
….Big scary waves stop.
I don’t know what you are facing as you read this.
I do not know what big scary waves are crashing over your little boat.
Do you need to cry out to Jesus in the middle of the storm?
Do we believe that God has the power to stop the storms we face?
I can’t tell you why he allows some storms, but I do know he intervenes. He intervened in Star’s life, she was removed from a storm. She has been brought to a place of safety.
And one day soon Jesus will command all storms everywhere to cease.
I don’t know if he will say the words “Peace, be still.” Or (as in Star’s version), he will simply say “STOP.”
But I do know that all death, all crying and all pain, will stop. Forever.
Perhaps like me, you need to listen to the story again. As told by Star, aged 5.
“Jesus sleeping in the boat”
“Wake up Jesus”( Jesus wakes up.)
“STOP” said Jesus.
I say “Star, what happens next?”
(The wind and waves) “STOP” she says.
(For a fuller version please see Mark 4 v 34-41)