Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:
“Commit your way to the Lord, roll and repose each care of your load on Him! Trust and rely on and be confident in Him and He will bring it to pass.”
Psalm 37: 5
“Give me, O Lord, a steadfast heart, which no unworthy affection may drag downwards; give us an unconquered heart, which no tribulation can wear out; give me an upright heart, which no unworthy purpose may tempt aside. Bestow upon us also, O Lord our God, understanding to know Thee, diligence to seek Thee, wisdom to find Thee, and a faithfulness that may finally embrace Thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Today’s Study Text:
“But He, Himself, was in the stern of the boat, asleep on the leather cushion (a pillow).”
Mark 4: 38
“The Fraud We Call Fear” Part 14
“Learning From a Storm”
“Jesus Christ is no security against life’s storms, but He is perfect security in life’s storms.”
In what ways have I seen Jesus, Himself, involved in the storms of my life?
Have I ever felt that Jesus had fallen asleep and didn’t notice the challenges which I was facing?
“The ship that has Christ in it, though it may be tossed, cannot sink; the bush that has God in it, though it may burn, shall not consume.”
“The brightest souls which glory ever knew,
Were rocked in storms and nursed when tempests blew.”
It was a dark night. It was a stormy night. As the disciples battled to keep their boat afloat on a wild sea, their thoughts turned to the reason they found themselves in this perilous situation. Jesus had requested they cross the sea. It had been a long day. Tomorrow would be another day filled with people…with teaching…and with healing. Probably the disciples were just as tired as Jesus. But they were busy fighting wave after wave. And Jesus, He was sleeping in the front of the boat, oblivious to the swirling waves and mighty winds. It was left to those closest to Jesus to fight the storm. And I ask you, “Have you ever felt you were fighting the storms in your life all by yourself?” I think at one time or another in all our lives, we’ve had a feeling that we were all alone, left to try and handle our trials as best we could.
When you are feeling alone, other questions seem to come to mind such as: “Why is this storm striking my life, especially at this time?” During a time of affliction, the question “Why?” is one that often plagues all of us. I’m certain the disciples had plenty of cause to wonder, after a day of taking care of others and ministering to them, they now faced a night of terror, fighting for their lives. It is worth noting that as Pastor Spurgeon points out, storms encountered on our journey through life, are frequently used by God to bring glory to His name. Thus, the tough times we all face, can teach us to not only trust our heavenly Father’s guidance, but to find that a journey through the storm with our Father is better than trying to go it alone.
Author Dean Dutton offers an interesting insight into how storms work in his commentary entitled: “Blessed Be Storms.” He states that, “It requires storms to produce the ‘rooting business.’ No tree becomes great unless it is transplanted out on a meadow where the winds and storms can get at it. It remains small if sheltered in the forest. Out on the meadow…the earth about the tree hardens. The rains do little good for the water runs off.
But when a terrific storm strikes, it twists, turns, wrenches and at times all but tears (the tree) out of its place. If the tree could speak it might bitterly complain. Should Nature listen and cease the storm process? On and on the storm almost bends the tree double. What can such seeming cruelty mean? Is that love? But wait.
All about that wind-blown tree the soil is loosened. Great cracks are opened up way down into the ground. Deep wounds might appear. But now the rain comes in with gentle ministry. The “wounds” fill up. The moisture reaches away down deep even to the utmost root. The sun again shines. New and vigorous life bursts forth. Now and again one hears something snap and crack like a pistol. It is the expansion of the bark on the tree. It is getting too big for its clothes. It is growing into a giant. It is rooting.”
Amidst the storm of Galilee, Jesus knew full well that His closest followers needed “rooting.” It would be their trust in the “One” who promised, “I will never leave you or forsake you” that would carry them through the storms of their life. Jesus only longing was that they would never forget He was always in the storm with them.
As Pastor Spurgeon so eloquently noted in his talk, Asleep on a Pillow, “The waves might roar, the winds might rage, but Jesus was not at all disquieted by the fury. He knew that the waters were in the hollow of His Father’s hand, and that every wind was but the breath of His Father’s mouth; and so He was not troubled; He had not even a careful thought, He was as much at ease as on a sunny day…It was Jesus own act and deed to go to sleep in the storm; He had nothing for which to keep awake, so pure and perfect was His confidence in the great Father. What an example this is to us! The Lord deserves our unbounded belief, our unquestioning confidence, and our undisturbed reliance.”
“All day long
I’ve stumbled from
Worry to worry
When I could have soared
From prayer to prayer.
Forgive me, Lord.”
Ruth Harms Calkin
“Why, O Lord, is it so hard for me to keep my heart directed toward you? Why do the many little things I want to do, and the many people I know, keep crowding into my mind, even during the hours that I am totally free to be with You and You alone? Why does my mind wander off in so many directions, and why does my heart desire the things that lead me astray? Are You not enough for me? Do I keep doubting Your love and care, Your mercy and grace? Do I keep wondering, in the center of my being, whether You will give me all I need if I just keep my eyes on You?
Please accept my distractions, my fatigue, my irritations, and my faithless wanderings. You know me more deeply and fully than I know myself. You love me with a greater love than I can love myself. You even offer me more than I can desire. Look at me, see me in all my misery and inner confusions, and let me sense Your presence in the midst of my turmoil. All I can do is show myself to You. Yet, I am afraid to do so. I am afraid that You will reject me. But I know – with the knowledge of faith – that You desire to give me Your love. The only thing You ask of me is not to hide from You, not to run away in despair, not to act as if You were a relentless despot.
Take my tired body, my confused mind, and my restless soul into Your arms and let me rest, simple quiet rest. Do I ask too much too soon? I should not worry about that. You will let me know. Come, Lord Jesus, come. Amen.”
“Good Jesus, strength of the weary, rest of the restless…come to me who am weary that I may rest in You.”
Edward B. Pusey
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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