Today’s Texts and Thoughts of Encouragement
“As for me, going on the way of obedience and faith, the Lord led me.”
“Stay out on the waves
That would crush you!
Step out in the storm
That would hush you!
And you will find,
As you touch the crest
You feared so much,
And walk on its breast,
There was One walking there,
The whole night through,
Waiting – for you!”
“God never gives guidance for two steps at a time. I must take one step, and then I receive light for the next.”
Today’s Study Text:
“And He (Jesus) said to them, ‘Why are you afraid?’”
Goodspeed New Testament
“And He said unto them, ‘Why are ye so fearful?’”
“The Prince of Peace” – Part 9
“What Fills You With Fear?”
“Jesus! the Name that charms our fears,
That bids our sorrows cease;
‘Tis music in the sinner’s ears,
‘Tis life, and health, and peace.”
What makes me afraid?
How have I tried to overcome fear in the past?
What do I believe will alleviate my fears?
“To You alone, O Jesus, I must cling;
running to Your arms, dear Lord,
there let me hide, safe from all fears,
loving You with the tenderness of a child.”
After St. Therese of Lisieux
“Dear God, be good to me,
the sea is so large,
and my boat is so small.”
Traditional prayer of a Breton Fisherman
Peace had descended upon the Sea of Galilee. Calm had been restored. And as Jesus stood, so mighty, so powerful, and so composed, He looked at His disciples and spoke these words: “Why are you so fearful?” This was not a condemnation from the lips of Jesus but rather a loving inquiry.
With Jesus on board the ship, what was it that caused the disciples to become so afraid? Indeed, the storm was fierce. The howling winds had terrorized their boat along with all the other “little boats.” But what was it that brought these seasoned sailors to their knees in fear? And as a follow-up question, “What is it that brings you and me to shake and shudder when the storms in our own lives leave us afraid that we too will perish?”
Pastor Michael L. Lindvall, in his commentary on the record left by Mark of this stormy event in the life of Jesus and His’ disciples, offers a profound perspective that really gets to the core of this frightening night and how there are lessons for your life and mine:
“Fear. The visceral response of Jesus’ terrified disciples in a frail storm-tossed boat resonates both in (our) individual lives and in the lives of congregations and communities. We are afraid of the ‘wind and waves’ that assail our fragile vessels – our lives, our church, our city, our nation. We fear disapproval, rejection, failure, meaningless, illness, and of course, we fear death – our own death, the death of those we love, and the potential demise of the communities we cherish…
The sea, the storm, and the fragile craft that carry our Lord and His followers across the Sea of Galilee offer images of our life journey - the perils of some passage, the profound vulnerability of the craft that bears us on our way, and our longing for One who calms both us and the storm…
Fear is confronted in this story, but not by a sudden burst of courage or resolve on the part of the disciples. In the course of the storm, they never pull themselves together. They do not, at least not on their own, discover inner resources they did not know they had. Rather, it is Jesus who calms both them and the storm with the power of His presence.”
Pastor Michael Lindvall
Feasting On The Word
Year B, Volume 3
These powerful words serve to remind you and me that our strength to overcome the fears in our own lives is not something we learn about at some self-help conference. Nor do we have some hidden, internal ability that will give us super-human power to rise above all that challenges us each day.
The fact is that this storm on Galilee and Jesus’ intervention in the midst of the turmoil, brings us to the recognition that we are not left alone to battle the wind and waves. As Pastor Lindvall underscores, “Fearsome things are very real, they do not have the last word. They do not have the ultimate power over us, because reigning over this world of fearsome things is a God who is mightier than they.”
What hope you and I can have midst the stormy gales that swirl around us. For through life’s storms He’ll guide me, underneath His wings.
“The Lord is my light and my salvation,
whom shall I fear?
the Lord is the stronghold of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?
Even if an army encamp against me,
I shall not be afraid;
and if war should rise against me,
yet will I trust.
One thing I have asked of the Lord,
which I will seek;
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
for ever. For He will hide me in His shelter
in the day of trouble,
and set me high upon a rock.”
Psalm 27:1, 3-5
“Lord of life
Why do I anticipate the worst
when time and time again
The worst never happens?
Even when it does, life goes on
And every day comes to an end;
Lord help me to overcome my fears
In this brief moment of reflection.
Calm my mind
Help me to relax
Let Your comforting Spirit
Enter into me
And fill me with peace.”
“From the fear that holds me rigid
God of Gentleness, ease me forward.
In my fear of surrender
God of Warmth, melt the ice round my heart…
In the fear of facing my fear,
God of Laughter, loosen me.
But in the fear that marks Your presence,
God of Love, keep me in awe and wonder.”
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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