Storms Of Life

Tuesday, January 10, 2023
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.

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About the author:

Sharon Cook <>
Apache Junction, Arizona, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Sharon, amen. God bless you.

    As always, thanks for the encouraging words, Sharon.

    Life is a journey full of twists and turns. Solving problems often demands big changes and prayer is the answer.

    Sharon, the verse from Isaiah that you quoted also carried me through a difficult time in my own life. How blessed we are to be able to look back and see God’s loving care all along our life’s journey.

    Ouch! I have been down that same swampy river with all too many onlookers.
    I am a survivor like the words of Reba McEntire show introduction song.

    Thanks, Sharon, for another of your very interesting and mindful devotionals. Yes, there can be many storms in our lives but most importantly we need keep faith that our loving Saviour is there to rescue us and guide us along a saving path. Blessings for your dedication to writing and honouring Jesus.

    Wow Sharon! What a powerful devotional! Thanks for sharing with such honesty. I could really identify with the struggles and fears. I know how true was this wonderful reassurance: 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.
    Thanks so much.

    Hi Sharon
    Thanks for this devotional – right from the heart. We all experience trials and tribulations – that’s when our faith is tested and needed the most.
    Love to hear a follow-up devotional, because I suspect that life turned around for someone as devoted to God as yourself.

    Thank you for this and other devotionals. I have been going through some difficult times the last month and you have reinforced my belief in the need to consult God for help in these difficulties. It is easy to lose sight of the help available through God and his word when all around us seems to be going against us.
    Thank you and God Bless
    (New Brunswick, Canada)

    Thank you, Sharon, for this devotional and outpouring of your fears and “shortcomings” in fully relying on God in times of Trouble. Your message is the latest of 4 totally separate emails of Presbycan devotions, church messages, and individual bible study, that somehow all hit on the same message, and the same meaning that several of us were experiencing at the same time. Our prayer would be that we can share this with others in our congregations and our lives, to show that nothing can separate us from our God, except ourselves.
    I pray God’s blessings on you and your family.

    Having read your devotional today, I wanted to share my story. I was waiting, for what seemed like an eternity, outside the room where I had just presented my Master’s Thesis. I was waiting to hear from the panel when the Department Head stopped and asked what I was waiting for. When I told her I was a bit anxious that my thesis would not be accepted she said “if it is not accepted, it is not your fault but your advisor’s.” I made it through, by the way, and the reason it was taking so long was the panel members, all women, were discussing being women in a male dominated environment.
    I’m sure you succeeded the next time. It’s hard sometimes to be on God’s schedule and weather the storm but eventually things calm down. Thank you for your heartfelt devotional.

    With the death of my son, after a battle with cancer, I am going through that just now. Worse, my daughter-in-law’s Dad, a man of strong faith, died shortly before.
    “What is going on?”
    Added to that, is searing pain and recent treatment that has gone sideways.
    But God is with me. His Son’s teaching is there to hang each day on, like a prescription that is guaranteed to be effective. Swallow the medication and wait for it to kick in… today’s was Luke 17:1-10
    “Forgive!” “Serve!”
    Thank heaven for fellow sojourners like you!
    (BC Canada)

    Good morning, Sharon,
    When we reflect on our lives and remember when God was there for us, it helps us when the next difficult time comes. God maybe provided a friend or family or a message from the television or a Bible reading that helps us know that He was walking with us even though we had to go through the situation. I know that I didn’t handle many situations in the best way, and I wondered if God was there for me. However when I reflect back, I can see that He was. Over the years, my faith strengthened and I felt His love and comfort more to help me respond with more faith.
    Sharing our experiences as you do and showing similar happenings in the Bible, definitely helps others to know to seek God with all their heart.
    Thank you for sharing and looking forward to more of your thoughts in 2023. Blessings.

    Good morning, Sharon,
    I can really relate to your good words this morning. There have been and there are storms in our lives. A year ago I went through a long period of medical issues. At the same time my wife was diagnosed with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s, which is getting worse as time goes on, not desperate yet. But I have been in contact with organizations concerning this matter and things will get worse, so I have been told, never better.
    I wish I too could say that I am sailing through this crisis magnificently, but that is not the case. There are times when I do quite well, but at other times I despair and even the words of scripture don’t give me the comfort I need and the zeal for writing has left me, I hope temporarily, and I miss it.
    Thank you for your good words,

    Mercy, Sharon, what a story. My husband has his PhD. He returned to get that degree when we had a 3-month-old and a 2-year-old. I am sitting here thinking what in the world would we have done if, after four years of work and struggle, the committee had turned down his dissertation and/or he had failed his oral exams. Your obvious courage, resiliency, and faith in the Lord are amazing.

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