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Sunday, October 13, 2013

Today’s Reading | Matthew 8:23–27

And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. A windstorm arose on the sea, so great that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him up, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!” And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, you of little faith?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a dead calm. They were amazed, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him?” (NRSV)


This story reminds me of the power and reliability of Jesus and God. The disciples and people around Jesus were witnessing his miracles and still trying to understand the nature of his being. It seems that they had not yet identified Jesus as the Son of God. They categorized Jesus with their limited human understanding as a “person” who was capable of magnificent acts of power.

I live in Chicago where the weather changes frequently and fast. I often leave the apartment prepared for all four seasons. Living not far from Lake Michigan, I have been afraid of storms rolling in from the lake—sometimes lightning and thunder, other times blinding snow or hail, and usually accompanied by high winds.

In this passage it seems that Jesus is truly perplexed by the apostles’ fear. Perhaps, like me, the disciples had an illusion of control; they thought they should be able to react effectively to the winds or the storm to keep from drowning. They made a good choice in waking Jesus and letting him protect them. Jesus gave orders to the winds and the lake and there was great calm.

I can choose to behold the wonder of God’s creation and rest secure in the knowledge that God, not me, is in control. When I really surrender (like the disciples in this story) and acknowledge God’s power, I have peace and confidence that God will take care of me. If not, I’m a trembling soul sitting in a boat waiting to be buffeted about by the winds of change. Sometimes I have to pray for faith and the ability to surrender, because it is more comfortable to hang on to my illusion of control. Am I willing to believe and be amazed?


God, please grant me the willingness to rely on you in any kind of weather. Remind me of the security and comfort that will be mine if I will only believe and place my trust in you. Amen.

Written by Robin Moncrieff, member of Fourth Presbyterian Church

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