Sunday’s church service was hugely powerful for me. Sometimes I get overwhelmed by life and my illness that I forget to trust God. I feel like this message was the pep talk I needed. Maybe it will strengthen you too!
The pastor was speaking about anxiety and focused specifically on the Gospel accounts of when Jesus calmed a storm on the Sea of Galilee.
Storms Come and Go
Mark 4:35-41 (English Standard Version)
“On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”
That must have been quite the experience. I’d be terrified! We’re currently very aware of the ferocious power hurricanes pack, and we know being caught in a storm like this is no laughing matter.
Some quick geography
The Sea of Galilee is located almost 700ft below sea level.
It never reaches more than 200ft deep.
Hills surround the Sea of Galilee.
It’s about 33 mi in circumference.
Storm Warnings At the Sea of Galilee
Due to the air temperature difference between the cool hills and the tropical weather at water level, intense wind storms out of nowhere are still a common occurrence here.
My Take-Aways from the Sermon
“Let us go across to the other side.”
It wasn’t the disciples’ idea that got them into turbulent waters. It was Jesus’ idea! Yes, Jesus, God in human form, planned the whole event! In obedience, the disciples went along for the ride, and I’m sure it was a ride they’d rather not repeat.
This really stuck out to me. Sometimes we can get down on ourselves or others might judge us when we are going through a storm thinking that there must be a mistake. We and others start doubting our faith and choices thinking that we must certainly be the cause of the problem. Though this could be the case, it isn’t always. Friends, a storm could simply mean that you’ve followed God’s call to hop in the boat.
There seems to be a trend with God showing me stuff through wave analogies. Check out this other post with previous thoughts on going through waves.
To the Other Side
But check this out. It’s key to realize what Jesus said to the disciples before anyone even stepped onto the boat: “Let us go across to the other side.” The goal remained the same. Jesus was going to take them to the other side of the lake, and no storm was going to change His mind.
It’s the same for us today: we can trust that He will get us through the waves to the other side.
God Is With Us
The last takeaway is this. God is with us in the boat; in the storm. He never leaves and never has any better plans than to be with us.
I know sometimes it doesn’t feel like Jesus is there. From under the waves the other side of the lake may look impossible to reach. However, don’t lose hope. If you keep following Jesus, He will calm the storm and you will get there.
Wow. “Peace, be still.”
Jesus Calmed My Storm
This message couldn’t have come at a better time for me! Like I’ve said in other posts, August and the beginning of this month have been jam packed with ups downs and all-around business. See what I mean in these two articles
Positive for Lyme
Hard Pills to Swallow
As you can see, the big story I’ve been covering over the last month has been my journey through Lyme Disease.
It’s been an unexpected detour that left me shocked and in denial for a few weeks before I finally came to terms with the diagnosis and accepted treatment. Multiple times I showed how weak my faith is by asking, “Really, God? Really??” (my version of what the disciples were saying: “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”)
Despite my irresponsibility with the medication and my doubts that God had everything under control, I received a wonderful gift at my last follow up appointment. I’m so so happy to report that the latest lab was *drum roll* NEGATIVE for Lyme!!!
I just clapped or high-fived myself. Pure joy.
Thank you all who’ve reached out and prayed for me. Husby and I are beyond thankful that we’re out of the water (can’t help the Galilee references) and safely on the other side of this. We’re also thankful that God answers prayers!
This is just one big confirmation that there is no better place to be than stickin’ with Jesus, especially through a storm.
Thanks for reading this update. If you need to reach me, I’ll be walking on water (ok, haha, that’s the last Galilee reference!).
I hope this helps someone out there find the strength to keep going and fighting through illness. If this means anything to you, feel free to comment below or send me a personal message. I’d love to hear from you.