“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 NIV
SUDDENLY! One minute the lake was calm. The next angry waves were battering the boat, and the disciples were filled with fear. Yes, Jesus was with them, but why was He sleeping? Didn’t He care if they perished? These may have been some of the thoughts going through the minds of Jesus’ disciples as they went to wake up their Teacher and Friend.
As I look back over the last couple weeks, life feels like being in a boat tossed around in a storm. Coronavirus – COVID-19 – has now been declared a pandemic, rapidly spreading around the world. This tiny virus of only 125 nanometers (a nanometer is one billionth of a meter) has literally changed our daily lives. A comment from an email from one of my nieces says it well: “Life as we know it is changing dramatically.”
Each of us probably have our own list of the changes this pandemic has already caused, so I’m not going to share my list. What I’ve been holding onto during this time is the truth that our God has power over every storm.
We can be like the disciples and turn our focus on the waves sweeping over our “boat.” Or we can choose to fix our eyes on the One who is Lord over the storms that touch our lives. We can give place to fear and panic like those who don’t know Jesus are doing during this time of uncertainty, or we can remind ourselves that our God is bigger than any storm and choose to keep our eyes on Jesus and walk in faith.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27 NIV
The peace that will carry us through the uncertainties of life, what we are facing now and anything that may lie ahead, is a supernatural peace. It is the peace of Jesus, the Prince of Peace. But a small 3-letter word in the above verse is important. Will we LET our hearts be troubled? Or will we choose to turn our eyes on the Lord and walk in His peace?
“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” Isaiah 26:3
We normally live with an illusion of certainty, and that has been removed by the unknowns that lie ahead. We don’t know what lies ahead, even our leaders and experts aren’t sure what to expect during the coming months. And this makes us feel vulnerable.
But there is One who does know the future, and He lives within us if we have surrendered to Jesus as Savior and Lord. He is still in control, and His perfect love has the power to cast out fear. By the strength He gives, we can walk in His peace and have victory over fear and panic.
Remember, Jesus still has power over the storms that we go through. Fix your eyes on Him. Remember you are not alone. Walk in wisdom and take every precaution advised by health authorities. But remember God has not given us a spirit of fear. He has given us power to overcome fear, assurance of His love, and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).
Remember to wash your hands well. And every time you do, remember Whose hands you are in. Today and each day until this difficult season is behind us, CHOOSE FAITH OVER FEAR!
Well said, Barbara. I couldn’t agree more. After the summer we’ve had here, [and I know other places have had bad fires too] we know that God is with us in the storm. And when you have lived more than 70 years we all have a few life experiences that remind us of his presence and protection. As it is only March, and the year ahead seems more uncertain than usual, it is good to remind ourselves that God is faithful, that no matter what, he is in control, and that he never changes.
Thanks, Helen. I’m so grateful that God is in control, even when we can’t see what He’s doing. Knowing His character, His faithfulness and love for us, is the key to knowing it’s going to be okay.
Might it be said that you are overcoming dread today? Maybe you fear losing your employment, of creating disease or being left by your companion. On occasion us all experience dread. Be that as it may, don’t permit dread to hold you back from being utilized by God. He has kept you up to this point; trust Him until the end of the way.
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