Daily Word of Grace # 118 (August 27, 2020)
When it comes to the Great American Novel the shortlist of contenders always includes F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 masterpiece The Great Gatsby. Among many other ways this novel is often viewed as a cautionary tale about the American Dream. The final sentence of The Great Gatsby is one of the most famous final sentences in literature: “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” During these trying times many of us definitely feel like “boats against the current.” The many crises in the United States this year have formed its own cautionary tale about the American Dream, and served as a stark reminder that in some ways we are indeed being “borne back ceaselessly into the past.” During one stormy night Jesus’ disciples found themselves in a terrifying gale at sea, not only beating “against the current” but also “battered by the waves…far from the land…the wind against them” (Matthew 14:24). And yet Jesus walked out to them on the water in the middle of the storm and assured them, “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid”—and a few moments later Jesus stilled the storm (Matthew 14:25-27, 32). Jesus is with all of us in the midst of both personal and national storms to offer the same grace of God’s presence as he did with the disciples that night. While circumstances may leave us feeling “borne back ceaselessly into the past”, the good news of the gospel is that through God’s grace we are also being borne ceaselessly into the future by the One who will one day still every storm.
Love and Prayers,