Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Hail The Day That Sees Him Rise"1 (Lyrics)
I was a single mother of two, still reeling from my husband's unfaithfulness and our subsequent divorce. I was also just finishing the thesis for my Master's degree. I had met with my advisor regularly, and she had never said that my work was incomplete or lacking. Yet, when I presented my paper, the committee turned it down.
That was a month or so before school started, and I'd already turned in paperwork for the salary increase that I expected due to the additional degree. Getting my thesis rejected meant not only that I didn't get my Master's degree at that point, but also that I had to pay back the additional money that the system had already added into my paycheque. Somehow, the calculations worked out so that I ended up paying back more than I received. This was in the 1970s, when teachers' salaries were even less adequate than they are now. It was definitely one of the storms of life.
What do we do when we encounter — as we all will — one of the storms of life? On one such occasion, after Jesus had been teaching all day, He and the disciples were in a boat crossing the Sea of Galilee.
Mark 4:37-39 – Soon a fierce storm came up. High waves were breaking into the boat, and it began to fill with water. Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. The disciples woke him up, shouting, "Teacher, don't you care that we're going to drown?" When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves, "Silence! Be still!" Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm. (NLT)
Even though the disciples were experienced fishermen and were exactly where they were supposed to be, doing what they were supposed to do — in the boat with Jesus on the way to another divine encounter — they were in a terrifying situation. Then, with three small words, the sea was instantly calm and they were safe. What an incredible moment that must have been!
Isaiah 43:2a – When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. (NLT)
I wish that I could report that I sailed through that crisis magnificently, relying on God for peace, comfort, and support. Unfortunately, my immediate response was full of fear and questioning like the disciples: "Lord, don't You care about me and my family?" I'm sure that I drove my friends crazy with my complaints. Instead, I needed to remember, as we all do in any situation, that He is always there to be with us in those "rivers of difficulty". We may get wet, but we won't drown if we cling to Him and allow His love and comfort to flow over and through us.
Let's choose to face our storms, knowing that Jesus is working in our lives, and reach out to Him. He will calm us and be with us through it all, no matter how deep the waters.
Prayer: Father, like the disciples, we often cry out to You for help in the storms of our life. Help us to trust that You know our circumstances and stand ready to rescue us if we will just put our faith in You. Amen.