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Friday, March 6, 2015

Today’s 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)

When the waves of demands are stronger than I think I’m capable of handling, I fear drowning in failure. When the winds of responsibility overcome me, I lose my calm. When I don’t know where help is coming from, I feel alone and unsure.

Anticipating a stormy day ahead, I had a restless night. My morning call to rise was not my alarm clock. It was my phone ringing with an invitation from a friend to have coffee. Coffee turned into a spontaneous breakfast. Neither of us really had the time for more than a quick coffee, but for some reason, we both took the time. While we ate our breakfast, I shared how the squall of waves and winds were causing me worry.

As the day unfolded, it was good. It was good because I wasn’t alone. As I heard my friend listening to me, I heard myself. Then I realized my foolishness in thinking I was alone. Jesus, you knew I needed help, disrupted my plans, and placed me together with a trusted friend. The tasks of the day didn’t change. What changed was me relinquishing control, giving it to you, and welcoming the support of others you carefully placed in my path.

Dear Jesus, thank you for always being in my boat. Thank you for revealing your love and care to me in ways I can and cannot see. Thank you for the gifts of my family and friends. I know I’m loved and not alone. Thank you for calming the storm. Amen.

Written by Rebecca Nilsson, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church

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