Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Mid-Week Message - Life's Storms

Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him.  Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”  He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.  The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”  Matthew 8:23-27 (NIV)

At 5:00 this morning, we were awoken by a thunderstorm.  If I had been alone, I would have shut my eyes and gone back to sleep.  However, we have two dogs that are afraid of thunder.  They also are frightened by high wind and heavy rain.  One of them simply shakes and looks around.  But the other one goes down the hall and tries to find a safe place, scratching at doorstops on his way.  It is that "thwung" sound that causes me to get up and keeps me awake.  No matter how I try to reassure and comfort him, he is inconsolable and I think to myself, "After all this time, why doesn't he understand that I will keep him safe?"

Life is full of storms and many of them send us running to seek shelter.  Economic downturns, the loss of a job, health challenges, broken or troubled relationships and countless more situations enter our lives without warning.  Panic sets in as we rattle our brains trying to come up with solutions.  Our emotions often take over as we seek a symbolic emergency flare to summon help.

When the disciples were in the storm, their first response was to assume their boat was going to sink and they were going to drown.  These were men that walked with Jesus everyday.  They did have the sense to wake up the Lord and ask Him to save them.  As eyewitnesses to His love and power, one would think they would have had enough confidence in Him to be able to control their fear.  Apparently, though, that was not the case.  His response was to question their faith and ask them why they were so afraid.  Then He "rebuked" the storm and all was calm.

I have been a Christian for many years.  I have seen the Lord work in my life over and over again.  I have been comforted during tragedies, rescued from difficulties and reassured that I am not alone.  Yet, when one of life's unexpected storms arises, I, like my sweet dog, shake in fear and seek a place to hide until the storm is over.  To me, as He did with the disciples, His question is, "Why are you so afraid?  Do you not remember who I am and how much I love you?  Do you not recall how I have promised to be with you always?  Do you not remember that I am capable of performing miracles?"

To myself I say, "Oh, ye of little faith!"  Truly He has seen me through my life in safety and rescued me from countless troubles.  His miracles have been numerous and He has never left my side, even for a second.  

If you struggle, as I do, with the fear that arises as life thunders and shakes, I urge you to remember all the times that He has been there to calm your storms.  The first thing we need to do is bow our heads and speak with Him.  He never sleeps, never finds our needs bothersome, and delights when we turn to Him.  Have a calm week.  God bless you! 

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