Salem's staff has once again written a devotional for the Lenten season beginning on Ash Wednesday (Feb. 22) and ending the day before Easter (Apr. 8th). Printed devotional books are available for pick up at Salem.
"Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. the disciples went and woke him, saying, "Lord, save us! We're going to drown!" He replied, "You of little faith, why are you so afraid?" Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. The men were amazed and asked, "What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!" - Matthew 8:23-27
As a native Houstonian who grew up not sleeping through hurricanes, this story of Jesus sleeping on a boat in a terrible storm has always stood out to me. How many times in our lives have we been awakened in our beds because of the terrible storm outside? Yet, in this story Jesus is on a boat in open water and sleeping through a storm that terrified the disciples. I imagine the boat must have been rocking, waves crashing and people shouting and running around doing all that they could to keep the boat afloat but still, Jesus slept.
Have you ever wondered how Jesus could sleep with something like this going on around him? I think the answer is quite simple: trust. Jesus trusted that God the Father would guard and protect Him, even amidst a terrible storm. The same is true for us. When we find ourselves surrounded by the storms in life, we can rest, trusting that God is with us and will protect us. Throughout life, we will experience times where we are terrified by the storms happening around us.
These may be literal storms filled with flooding, freezing, and strong winds or things happening in our lives that are out of our control in our families, at work, or in the world. Jesus' actions in this story show us a great example of how we can rest in him and trust that he will protect us through the storms of life.
There may be times when God quiets the storm, just as Jesus did in the boat, and we can respond with rejoicing and admiration. No matter what storms you find yourself in in life, I challenge you to rest, trusting that God will be with you and protect you even as the storm rages.
God, help me to put my trust in You so that I can rest in your peace and presence amidst the storms in my life. Help me remember that no matter what comes my way that You are with me and that I can always trust in You. Amen.
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