When It Hits the Fan
Week of June 3, 2019
Devotional & Reading Plan
“Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke Him and said to Him, ‘Teacher, don’t you care if we drown [in this raging storm]?’” Matthew 4:38
A few weeks ago, the sewage pump in my basement was accidentally left plugged in and turned on while a friend was trying to remedy what appeared to be a broken ejector pump (I’ll spare you the details on what all that means), but as you can guess, the sewage came up quick and without much warning. It covered my friend, it covered a small corner of the basement, the carpet, literally, it hit the fan. Even my two year old daughter noticed the horrific smell that invaded our entire precious home within minutes, “It’s stinky, Mommy.” She was right about that. It took a couple weeks of annoying and exhausting work to get the basement back in good standing.
And while I can chuckle about it now, it got me thinking, when life gets really tough, when it hits the fan, is it possible to stay the course of faith? Because that’s exactly what Jesus desired of His followers when we read the Gospels. And He wants the same for us Christians today.
When Jesus was in the boat with His disciples, a terrible storm threatened to destroy the boat and take all their lives. They were horrified, even with the Son of Man in their physical presence, they feared for their lives. Jesus was sleeping and resting, while they were counting their final moments of life. They woke Him up to let Him know they were all about to die. I’m sure they did this in hopes that He would do some miraculous and life-saving work, which He did. He calmed the storm, and their lives were spared. Although that miracle alone leaves me awestruck at the mighty power of Jesus, the account doesn’t end there. We must keep reading because Jesus spoke something truly profound that we all need to hear and consider.
After Jesus calmed the storm, He asked them, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” I can almost hear Jesus saying that to me when I’m fearful about my finances, or losing my home, or the timeline of when my husband will once again be employed. We don’t have to live in fear. Ever. We don’t have to be anxious or worried or concerned. About anything. I know that might sound impossible when you consider some of your circumstances, but Jesus wants us to put our faith fully in Him, so that we don’t have to carry the burdens of life. And life will be full of burdens, my friend, that is a guarantee. Accidents, deaths, cancers, poverty, substance abuses, injustice after injustice. So many situations that try to intimidate and weigh us down. We will encounter a plethora of distractions and temptations that attempt to lead us away from our Father. But in the face of your greatest mountains, remember what Jesus asked about the strength of the disciples' faith when they were in the storm. We can find hope that even in our deepest sorrows and challenges, He wants us to have deep and lasting faith, so that we can remain full of joy, peace and hope.
When life gets really exhausting and confusing, can you press on in faith? When the safety net is gone, when the prognosis is grim, when life feels like it’s crumbling, can you press on in faith? What I have experienced time and time again in my life and seen in the life of many believers is that faith can be stretched, it's supposed to be. Faith can truly help each of us get through anything that we encounter in life. With faith we tap into God’s amazing mercy, grace, and supernatural help. Whatever you are going through, Jesus can do a miraculous and life-saving work by calming the storms in your life, too.
This Week’s Reading Plan
As you read the following passages this week, ask yourself these questions:
1) What verse comforts me that I can commit to memory?
2) What word or phrase stands out?
3) What am I learning about God from this?
4) How can I apply this to my life today?
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