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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Monday, August 7, 2017

Today’s Scripture Reading | Matthew 14:22–24

Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but by this time the boat, battered by the waves, was far from the land, for the wind was against them. And early in the morning he came walking toward them on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.” (NRSV)

It’s not hard to imagine how scared the disciples must have been out on the water being battered by wind and waves. I wonder what they were thinking. Were they mad at Jesus for sending them off on their own? Were they praying fervently for Jesus to come rescue them? Or were they too busy just trying to stay on the boat and keep it from capsizing to have either of those thoughts?

We all find ourselves out on a lake in the middle of a storm from time to time. When that happens to me, I feel lost and disoriented, and it takes everything in me just to keep my balance on the boat. I always get around to asking for God’s help eventually, but it’s not uncommon for me to be angry with God first. It’s one thing if God told me not to get into the boat and I did it anyway. But when God asked me to get into the boat and to row out into the middle of the lake and then I get caught in a storm, it’s hard not to be angry.

I know it’s OK to be angry with God. But I also know it doesn’t do me any good. It’s more helpful if I remind myself that God loves me and always has my best interests at heart even if I don’t understand what ’God’s doing in the moment.

Loving God, help me to remember that you are always with me, even on the stormy seas of life and even when I’m angry with you. Remind me that your love always surrounds me and pulls me through the unforgiving wind and waves. Strengthen my faith so that I can always put my trust in you. Amen.

Written by Nicole Spirgen, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church

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