Musings on Our Faith Journey
Peace, be still. ¾Mark 4:39
I don’t know about you, but it’s hard for me to keep from being sucked into the day-to-day sea of the urgent. As women, our lives are so busy with family, career, church, and other commitments that before we know it the urgent trivia of life swamps the things that have eternal value.
The disciples were in the boat with Jesus. That alone should have given them supreme confidence when the gale threatened to swamp their boat. After all, Jesus had healed the lame, sick, blind, and deaf and had even raised the dead. The disciples had all the evidence they needed that Jesus was in control!
But when the winds beat down on their boat, they did exactly what most of us do when a crisis threatens our well-ordered lives. They panicked! “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” they demanded.
“Peace, be still,” Jesus commanded into the storm. And instantly the gale dissipated and the waves became smooth as glass. An unearthly calm possessed the once troubled sea.
In the midst of my daily turmoil, I hear his voice whispering, Peace, be still. I am in control. I will lead you in the right way, if you will only take your hand off the tiller.
What do you need to relinquish to the Lord’s control today? Will you do it? Will you allow the Lord of the universe to still your storm and take control of your life? Only he knows the road ahead and where the dangers lie. He, more than any other, cares whether you are perishing.
Today, take your hand off the tiller. Allow him to guide you on the way, and he will bring you safely to the shore. Peace, be still.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, when the storms of life threaten to overwhelm my small boat, please remind me of your presence with me. Help me to keep my eyes on you and not be afraid. In your precious name I pray. Amen.
Simple way to slow down and enjoy God: Allow Jesus to guide you on the way, and he will bring you safely to the shore.
“I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” ¾John 15:5
Most of the time I don’t feel capable of doing the ministry I’m called to do—in my case, writing and publishing—so I pray a lot! I’m very aware of how dependent I am on God’s help, and I consciously draw near to the Lord. Praise God, the one he calls to ministry, he also anoints, equips, empowers, and guides! But to receive his power, I have to abide in the Vine.
I’ve discovered that God gives us just what we need when we need it. Some time ago a guest pastor at the church I was attending told a story about when he was a young minister a number of years earlier. He was to speak at a hotel in a large city, and being from a rural area, he had little experience with the sophisticated technologies available in urban areas. Arriving at the hotel, he walked around the building for several minutes, unable to figure out how to get in. As far as he could tell, there were no doors, only what appeared to him to be large windows.
Finally, as he stood and watched in frustration, a man walked briskly toward what he thought was a large panel of glass. Just as the man reached it, it slid open, and the man went inside. So the minister walked up to it, and sure enough, the door automatically opened.
That’s how it is with God’s provision. As we abide in him, he gives us what we need at the moment we need it, and not before. We just have to walk forward in trust and faith.
Sometimes when I’m writing I don’t know exactly where to go with a scene or how to portray something that’s buried deep in the heart of one of my characters. But as I start writing, it’s often as if the Lord opened up the top of my head and poured in something that is far beyond anything I could come up with.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, help us always to abide in you. Be our provision this day that we may produce abundant fruit for your Kingdom. In Your name we pray. Amen.
Simple thought for the day: Abide in the Vine, “for apart from Me, you can do nothing.”
So he arose and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food for forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mountain of God. ¾1 Kings 19:8
God empowers us to serve beyond our own physical, emotional, and mental abilities. I’ve had abundant occasions to learn this through the challenges I face as an author and the publisher of an independent small press, Sheaf House. Daily I’m reminded that there’s no way in my own power that I can possibly do what I’ve been called to do.
So I particularly relate to a story I read in Blaine Allen’s When People Throw Stones. He tells about a time when he needed to go from one gate in a large airport to a gate that was very far away, and he had only minutes to reach it. But as he hurried along, he noticed a moving sidewalk. He got on it and instead of riding it, he walked rapidly along as it carried him in the direction he wanted to go.
Allen compared this to how the Holy Spirit empowers us to do what is beyond our human abilities. The Holy Spirit lives in us. As we cooperate with the Spirit and do what God calls us to do, then he doubles and redoubles our efforts.
1 Kings 19 tells about how Elijah fled for his life from Jezebel after he had overcome the prophets of Baal and she threatened to kill him. Far out in the wilderness, when he was completely exhausted and discouraged to the point that he wanted to die, God sent an angel to bring him food and water.
Twice the angel awoke him from a deep sleep, and he told him, “Arise and eat, because the journey is too great for you.” When Elijah arose, he ate and drank, and that food gave him the power to run for forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mountain of God.
In his own strength, Elijah couldn’t go where God called him to go. We also don’t have the strength to go where God calls us to go. But God supplied the lack for Elijah so that he went for forty days and forty nights without eating to the place where God wanted to meet with him. He will supply our lack, too, as we abide in Him.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, give us that holy food so that we may run our race in Your mighty power.
Simple thought for the day: God will supply our lack too as long as we remain in a proper relationship with him.
Peace in the Storm
Abide in the Vine
Copyright 2007 by J. M. Hochstetler