Devotional from Sheena

Read Mark 4:35-41

They had planned a straightforward sail from one side of the sea of Galilee to the other.  After a busy day they wanted to leave the crowds behind.  The sea of Galilee was usually calm, it was normal for fishermen to take their boats out overnight.  This was more like a taxi ride than an expedition.

But this night was different, a storm blew up, powerful enough to frighten the seasoned fisherman in the party of disciples.  As the wind drove them off course and waves towered above the, raining down sea spray they cried out over the crashing waves as they smashed against the boat ‘Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?’  To Jesus fast asleep at the stern.

He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet!  Be still! Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.  He said to his disciples “Why are you so afraid?  Do you still have no faith?” Mark 4: 39-40  

This was early in their walk with Jesus and they asked each other ‘What kind of man is this?’

The answer is that Jesus was no man, and although we have an understanding that Jesus is the son of God He could still easily ask us  Why are you so afraid?  Do you still have no faith?”

We are afraid when we see something that is insurmountable, that was not part of our life plan, that may be physically or emotionally painful.  That we cannot see the good in.  But God is good.

We can hold on to what God has told us in the Bible:

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” Romans 8:28

“Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged; for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”  Joshua 1:9

We all face storms – at work, in our relationships, within ourselves.  They can come without warning and knock us of the course we had planned. We don’t understand why they come, this is not divine punishment, and sometimes in retrospect we do see that there was a benefit in what we felt was painful at the time.

When storms come, often it’s all we can manage is just to hold on to the boat and to hold onto the promises of God.  Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged, God is good and He is with us in the storm.

The disciples couldn’t do anything more, they had no power to  calm the waves and the wind.  Nothing to do but ask Jesus for help.  And again we can learn from that – striving and fighting on our own to get out of a storm is tiring work and something we cannot manage alone, but we can ask Jesus for help too.

Lord God All-Powerful, there is no one like you. You are strong, Lord, and always faithful. You rule the stormy sea. You can calm its angry waves. Psalm 89:8-9

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