This post is by Carol Ensminger.
He calmed the storm and then asked, "Where is your faith?" (Luke 8:25a, ESV).
One of our favorite ways to spend time with the little people in our lives is snuggled on the couch, snacking on popcorn while we watch a family movie. We take great care in choosing a movie but even family movies can quickly turn dark and scary. When a movie becomes disturbing, our little ones begin to hide under their blankets. Even though we keep assuring them villains never win and we promise there will be a happy ending, they don’t believe us. Instead, their scared voices yell, “Turn it off” and fear chases them out of the room.
So much of what’s going on in the world today truly feels like something we’d only see watching a Hollywood film. Commercials announce “In theaters now, COVID-19: The Silent Killer.” It’s a dramatic war movie with an invisible enemy. Sure, it has some positive scenes, but most of the film is dark and extremely scary.
But it’s not a movie. It’s real-life.
COVID-19 has spread across the world with fear traveling faster than the virus itself. It’s alarming and frustrating and sadly, we can't stop the show by merely turning off the news, hiding under a blanket or running out of the room.
Last week I was reminded of the story of Jesus and the disciples when they found themselves caught in a storm. After they fed thousands of people with one small boy’s lunch, they climbed into a boat to set sail to the other side of the sea of Galilee. It was late, and they were surrounded by the vast waters when a furious wind storm began to blow, tossing their boat back and forth in the darkness. It didn't take long for waves of the sea to spill over the boat's edge threatening to flood the tiny vessel.
As the desperate disciples stared at the terrifying scene before them, they began to panic. With raging storms and a boat about to sink, they finally decided it was time to wake Jesus who was sound asleep in the back of the boat!
I hope I’m not the only one that can relate to those desperate disciples. I'm rowing along merrily when suddenly dark clouds are hovering over me, and wild waves are crashing against my boat. I can fix this. I grab my coffee cup and start pitching the water out of the boat. But as the storm rages, I realize I might need a bucket. Then, when it looks like I’m going to sink, I cry out to Jesus. Sadly, it’s one of those last-resort-panic-prayers where I'm pleading, “Jesus, help me! Don’t you see I’m drowning here?”
Friends, we are in a storm right now. We turn on the news and the dark clouds grow darker. We scroll through social media and the water rises higher. We are bombarded with health threats, dreadful stories, unbelievable statistics.
It’s dark. It’s scary. We don't know how we are going to get to the other side of this, so we allow fear to set in and the “what if...s” flood our minds.
What if ... a loved one gets sick.
What if... we have a recession.
What if... I lose my job.
What if... our food supply runs out.
Although the storms may rage around us, we can have peace and hope … because we have Jesus.
I have this promise Jesus keeps whispering to me. Over and over. “You are not alone. I am in the boat. I will take you to the other side.” So, instead of panicking and pitching the raging waters back overboard, I’m going to go where Jesus is. When we look for Jesus in the middle of what’s not working, we discover He’s always there, bringing us comfort, peace, and hope.
Friends, I’m here to tell you the villain, our enemy, never wins. Jesus in the boat. He’s right there with you and He’s going to calm the storm and take you to the other side. We too will have our happy ending.
The Bible tells us Jesus gave us His peace (John 14: 27) It’s a gift, but it’s up to us to receive it. It’s up to us to choose faith over fear and peace over panic. Choosing Jesus during storms can bring a sense of peace and calmness to my overthinking, anxiety-prone mind. Reading scripture, singing worship songs, and spending time on my knees… These are the coping mechanisms I’m choosing for today.
When we don't know what tomorrow will bring, we can look to the One who knows it all. Remember, there is no storm (even in our hearts and minds) that the Prince of Peace can not calm.
Take some time today to go to Jesus. Abide in Him. He will give us the peace we need. We can trust Him to take us to the other side.
Carol is a regular ole gal with a desire to come alongside women of all ages, helping them to find their way—despite challenging situations. When she is not writing, teaching Bible study, or mentoring, she loves to spend time with her family. She resides in Sun Lakes, Arizona with her husband Michael. Together they have six children and ten grandchildren scattered across the states (and one in heaven).
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