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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Today’s Scripture Reading | Mark 4:35–41

On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him. A great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” (NRSV)

Do you know someone who always appears to be cool and composed, even in the most stressful or chaotic situations? I know some people who are like that. That sense of calm amazes me and makes me envious. When I find myself in a stressful or troubling situation, I get panicky and spiral downward through my anxiety, envisioning all of the worst-case scenarios. Imagine how the disciples felt that night, in a simple boat, waves crashing over the sides, water coming in fast, no shelter to take and no land in sight. Talk about a stressful, chaotic situation!

We all have seasons or specific events in our lives that feel like we are in the middle of a storm. We feel vulnerable, unstable, insecure, anxious, and maybe even deserted. If you are like me, we ask lots of questions during these times as well. When will this pass? Do I have the strength to get through this? Why did this have to happen to me? Does God even care about me right now?

While we don’t know the answers to most of those questions, we do know that God cares about us and loves us more than we can begin to imagine. Life is not smooth sailing every day, but God is by our side through it all. God goes through the storm, through the pain with us, even when it doesn’t feel that way.

When we are in a storm, it’s easy to forget that God is with us. It’s easy to forget to put our trust in God when the pain and struggling is so overwhelming. In my own life, I usually find myself focusing on the storm and forgetting to reach out to God for help. I challenge us to reach out to God during tough times rather than trying to weather the storm on our own.

Loving God, thank you for walking through the storm with me. Help me to feel your presence and remind me to reach to you for help during difficult times. Amen.

Written by Briana Belding-Peck, Family Ministry Coordinator

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