Many years ago I had a very close friend turn against me and I couldn’t figure out how to fix it. I had many conversations with them and tried to repair what I could, but it always ended up the same way no matter what I did. I didn’t know what to do about it until I had a dream about ants in my bathroom. Every time I squashed them, they multiplied. Eventually the entire bathroom was taken over. Then a surreal voice spoke into the dream and said, “Increase your faith.”
“Stop moving in the name of Jesus!” I sternly commanded. In that moment, almost all of the ants stopped and morphed into a weed that was growing out of a crack in the bathroom tile. I felt God had an interpretation he wanted me to see, but I was too frustrated with my friend to see it. I shared the dream with my wife and she, in her clear-headedness, interpreted it easily for me: “A lot of little things like ants are overwhelming, but a weed—though still a pain—is much less of a pain.”
So I decided to give my friendship over to God in faith rather than take it into my own hands. My efforts had only created greater ant-storms. I took walks around my block and prayed blessing prayers over my friend that I didn’t really want to pray. I certainly didn’t do any of this perfectly, but these prayers helped change the storm as I let go in faith.
While on a boat, Jesus encountered a freak storm that was intense enough to make fishermen think they were going to die. In their distress, they awoke an exhausted and (perhaps) cranky Jesus who asked them where their faith was. He then told the storm to cut it out, which it did. May we grow in this kind of faith so that when storms hit us, we are capable of stopping them in the name of Jesus rather than panicking and making them worse.
*This devotional was created out of the themes of Luke 8:16-25 found in today’s reading at CommonPrayer.net.