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Transformation Garden - January 24, 2017

  • 2017 Jan 24
  • COMMENTS

January 24

Today’s Texts and Thoughts of Encouragement

“Who layeth the beams of His chambers in the waters; who maketh the clouds His chariot; who walketh upon the wings of the wind…Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed forever.”

Psalm 104:3, 5
K.J.V.

“O Lord, Thou art my God; I will exalt Thee, I will praise Thy Name; for Thou hast done wonderful things; Thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth…For Thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in (their) distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.”

Isaiah 25:1, 4
K.J.V.

Prayer

“Father! in Thy mysterious presence kneeling,
Fain would our souls feel all Thy kindling love,
For we are weak, and need some deep revealing
Of trust and strength and calmness from above.

Lord! we have wandered forth through doubt and sorrow,
And Thou hast made each step an onward one;
And we will ever trust each unknown morrow,
Thou wilt sustain us till the work is done.

In the heart’s depths a peace serene and holy
Abides; and when pain seems to have her will,
Or we despair, oh, may that peace rise slowly,
Stronger than agony, and we be still.

Now, Father, now, in Thy dear presence kneeling,
Our spirits yearn to feel Thy kindling love;
Now make us strong, we need Thy deep revealing
Of trust and strength and calmness from above.”

Samuel Johnson
1846

Today’s Study Text:

“He (Jesus) was in the stern, asleep on the cushion.”

Mark 4:38
Goodspeed New Testament

“But He (Himself) was in the stern of the boat, asleep on the leather cushion.”

Mark 4: 38
Amplified Bible

EXPLORATION:

“The Prince of Peace” – Part 6

“Present and Asleep”

“With infinite love and compassion our Lord understood the human predicament…His concern was always to uplift and never to tear down, to heal and never hurt, to save and not condemn.”

Charles L. Allen

If I was in the boat on Galilee and a terrible storm came upon me, what actions do I believe I would have taken?

How do I believe Jesus was able to fall asleep during the terrible storm on the sea?

“God has done all this, so that we will look for Him and reach out and find Him. He isn’t far from any of us.”

Acts 17:27
C.E.V.

INSPIRATION:

“How distant You are from my sight while I am present to Your sight! You are wholly present everywhere and I do not see You.”

St. Anselm of Canterbury

Not long ago, I came upon the words of Thomas Merton, poet and untiring worker for justice around the world. His prayer struck a cord in my heart, especially as I was, at the time, preparing the devotionals based on Mark 4 and the storm Jesus’ followers encountered on the Sea of Galilee. Here are his timely words:

“Grant us above all to see that our ways are not necessarily Your ways, that we cannot fully penetrate the mystery of Your designs and that the very storm now raging on the earth reveals Your hidden will and Your inscrutable decision. Grant us to see Your face in the lightning of this cosmic storm, O God of holiness, merciful to (all). Grant us to seek peace where it is truly found!

In Your will, O God, is our peace!”

Just as a reminder, it was at the request of Jesus, Himself, that the disciples, along with smaller boats, took to crossing the Sea of Galilee on the particular day that Mark tells us about. They didn’t decide on their own to cross the lake in the night. This wasn’t what we would call a misadventure. In fact, they were following Jesus’ request. Their trip was what He had asked them to do. They were being obedient to Christ’s petition. Yet, they found, much to their surprise, that everything didn’t go the way they imagined.

Now they shouldn’t have been surprised that Jesus fell asleep. All day long He had taught the crowds that had become a normal sight wherever Jesus was. His teaching drew the “hungry and thirsty,” who yearned for His words of life.

As Mark notes, as the journey began, Jesus lay down in the stern of the boat and immediately fell asleep. As the Bible commentator Matthew Henry so eloquently describes the scene: “Christ was asleep in this storm; and we are told that it was in the hinder part of the ship, the pilot’s place. He lay at the helm, to intimate that, as poet George Herbert expresses:

‘When winds and waves assault my keel,
He doth preserve it, He doth steer,
Even when the boat seems most to reel.
Storms are the triumph of His art;
Though He may close His eyes, yet not His heart.’”

I love Henry’s acute observation that even when Jesus appears to us to close His eyes and be unaware of the trauma we face in our lives, His heart is never closed to the needs of His children, even when we find ourselves unable to cry out or to make our needs clear. He still sees and understands.

In The Message Bible, Psalm 121 is identified as “A Pilgrim Song.” How appropriate, especially since Psalm 121: 3, 4 encourage us with the promise that ”He won’t let you stumble, Your Guardian God won’t fall asleep. Not on your life! (Our) Guardian will never doze or sleep.”

I don’t know about you, but having had times in my own life when I was working three different jobs at the same time, 2 part-time and one full-time, I knew what it was to feel exhausted. And it gives me comfort to recognize that when Jesus walked this earth, He also knew fully the limitations of human strength. He was well aware of the wear and tear life leaves on our bodies, and it is His understanding of what we go through each day that makes me confident in His ability to extract me from the waves that seek to swamp me whether they hit in the day or night.

On May 3, 1871, a poem prayer appeared in “The Sailor’s Magazine.” As Robert J. Morgan tells in his book, Then Sings My Soul, Book 2, the unidentified poem was attached to a musical composition, written by John Edgar Gould. However, it wasn’t until the death of Pastor Edward Hopper, it was “finally disclosed” that what was called “The Sailor’s Hymn” contained the words to the hymn we know as “Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me.” It is in the first verse of this beloved hymn that we find expressed the care of our loving Savior, who never forgets us – whether in the day or night:

“Jesus, Savior, pilot me,
Over life’s tempestuous sea;
Unknown waves before me roll,
Hiding rocks and treacherous shoal,
Chart and compass came from Thee,
Jesus, Savior, pilot me!”

Edward Hopper

When our Savior calls for our service to assist Him in whatever He desires for us to do, never forget, He will pilot us throughout the journey as we follow Him. Whether we feel His presence or not, even when we think like His disciples long ago, that He is fast asleep, “His heart never sleeps!” Our Guide is on duty 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, until the journey is over and we reach our heavenly home.

Be Thou my vision. O Lord of my heart;
Nought be all else to me, save that Thou art;
Thou my best thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.”

Irish, translation by
Mary Elizabeth Byrne

AFFIRMATION:

Voyagers

“O Maker of the Mighty DeepWhereon our vessels fare,
Above our life’s adventure keep
Thy faithful watch and care.
In Thee we trust, whatever befall;
Thy sea is great, our boats are small.

We know not where the secret tides
Will help us or delay,
Nor where the lurking tempest hides,
Nor where the fogs are gray.
We trust in Thee, whatever befall;
Thy sea is great, our boats are small.

When outward bound we boldly sail
And leave the friendly shore,
Let not our hearts of courage fail
Before the voyage is o’er.
We trust in Thee, whatever befall;
Thy sea is great, our boats are small.

When homeward bound we gladly turn,
O bring us safely there,
Where harbour lights of friendship burn
And peace is in the air.
We trust in Thee, whatever befall;
Thy sea is great, our boats are small.”

Henry Van Dyke
1852-1933

Your friend,

Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
[email protected]

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