Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Storms and Very Special Thank You

Many of us are familiar with story of Jesus calming the Sea while on the boat with the disciples, but how many of us have actually stopped and really read this passage?

Mark 4:35-41

35 On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side.” 36 Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. 37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. 38 But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” 39 Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. 40 But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?”41 And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!”

Matt read this passage in our Connection Group Sunday morning, and I have been studying and pondering over it ever since. His big lesson was being prepared before the storm of life hits, and I was screaming to myself, "What if you are already in the midst of the storm!!!?" So begins my reading. You can find this passage in Matthew 8 and also in Luke 8; however, Mark paints a beautiful picture for us. While Matthew and Luke simply say that Jesus is asleep, Mark says, "He was...asleep on a pillow." This shows Jesus' fleshly-side tired from preforming miracles and teaching parables, but also his deity-side knowing all was okay. Now here the disciples are in the middle of a storm, there boat is taking on water, they think there is no way they are going to survive, and Jesus is asleep on a pillow. How many times do we get all worked up and say, "Jesus do you care? There is no way we are going to make it through this situation. How are we going to make it?" How many times does Jesus have to calmly remind us, "Have faith my child, I can see the whole picture. I will never leave you nor forsake you. It will be okay."

I know that this passage was for me this week. Thank you Jesus for working through Matt to remind me that even though I am in the midst of a storm, He is there reminding me to have "faith of a mustard seed". When we have faith, He shows us a little ray of sunshine to show us that is He is ever-present in our times of need. My ray of sunshine came from the Harris family this week. Yesterday after picking MG up from school we returned home to find the most precious package anyone have ever given me hanging from the front door knob. As soon as I drove up to the house, I knew what it was. You see, they knew that Mary Grace did not have a winter coat and that we did not have the money to go buy one, so they as a family lovingly purchased a coat for our daughter. Thank you Drew, Mandy, Alex, and Emma! God has used you in more ways than you know. For those of you in a storm, I hope this helped and for those who will be someday, I hope this passage comes to mind and can help you like it has helped me. I will leave you with a picture and a quote from my beautiful girl in her beautiful new coat.

She says, "Mommy, I like it and I can't feel the cold anymore!" She is so strong, she never mentioned once to us that she had been cold, and that her little jacket just wasn't cuttin it. God is good!