Showing posts with label boat. Show all posts
Showing posts with label boat. Show all posts

The Calm in the Storm

I live in Oklahoma so storms are nothing new to me. Even today we have a high risk for severe storms. We just watch the weather a lot. lol. I know that if I'm going to get Chris out for his 20 minutes of vitamin D therapy I'll have to do it while the sun is shining and before the storms roll in.

As a child, I had a horrible fear of storms. I think it comes from when I was about 10 our neighbor's house was struck by lightning. I remember watching out the window from our couch in the living room while the firefighters worked to extinguish it. When I was a teen a house on our block had the same thing happen. I ran outside and watched as their house burned to the ground. In both instances, the people were fine. But I think it made me fear storms a bit.

As an adult, I've worked past all those fears. I am cautious, but not afraid during storms. Yesterday I was reading in Mark 4 where the disciples got in a boat to "go to the other side" with Jesus. In the middle of the water, a storm arose and they were frightened. They woke Jesus up and told Him they were all dying and asked if He even cared. Jesus said, "Peace, be still." And then asked them why they had such little faith. Jesus not only calmed the storm - He was the calm in the storm.

He had no fear even though it was raging all around their boat. Sometimes I wish the storms of life were that easy to tame, don't you? Every day of caregiving can be stormy weather no matter how well we've adjusted to our new norm. But just when we are sure we are going to die, Jesus speaks peace. Doesn't He?

Some days it's easier to find that peace - other days it seems to elude me. But He is always in the boat. He doesn't get out and go back to shore, He doesn't abandon when the waves start rocking our boats around. He is patient and gently commands peace. I appreciate that. You see, no matter how frazzled I am, no matter how antsy or anxious I become - He can calm the storms of my heart with a simple word. Sometimes, His presence is all it takes.

Today, I will meditate on the peace Jesus gives me. Even though my soul feels storm-tossed, I will focus on the underlying peace and the sense of security I have because I know He's in the boat with me. My prayer will be to experience His peace today - for me and for you.

Passion or Fear?

In Matthew 13 there is a very interesting story about a storm. Jesus sent the disciples across the sea and while they were headed across a storm came up. On the water in a storm has to be a very scary place! Here in Oklahoma we can have some pretty rough storms and I would not want to be out on the water when one blew in!


Jesus saw the storm and headed out walking on the water to meet his frightened disciples. That's one thought in itself isn't it? Jesus' attention was not averted away from those He loved just because of a little storm! He headed right out to them without a second thought. As He got close to His trembling disciples, Peter called out and said If that is You,Lord, bid me to come!  That was a crazy thing to say - for anyone!

Jesus told Peter to come on out on the water. Peter jumped out of the boat momentarily oblivious to the tumultuous water and waves and headed for Jesus. The question here would be did Peter jump out of the boat and head toward Jesus out of passion, or out of fear? Was he headed for Jesus for safety from the storm, or simply because he was so glad to see him in a scary situation? Personally, my guess is that he headed for Christ out of passion. It was fear that caused him to begin to sink when he looked away from Jesus and toward the storm.

As a caregiver, we kind of live in a storm don't we? At least by other people's standards. My prayer is two things here. One- that I will run to Jesus out of passion not out of just fear. It's certain that He is our comfort, strength, and sustainer of our souls! I want to run to Him in trouble of course! But I want the drive of my pursuit to be passionately seeking Him. I stated in my other blog, From the Furnace, that I have come to know HIm in such a way, even in the storm, that I wouldn't trade this relationship for church! I wouldn't want to go back to that sort of religious relationship with HIm. I want to passionately run to Him.

The other thing to remember in our passionate pursuit of who He is - is to not let the storm grab our attention. It is so important to keep our eyes on Him as we pass through the trials of life. One has to wonder how the story would have read if Peter had not been distracted. Ever wondered that? Would they have simply walked back to the boat? Personally, I'm glad he got distracted (sorry Peter because it is such an encouragement to know Jesus did not condemn him, He simply helped him get back in the boat. Jesus also told him he at least had a little faith even in his doubts!

Today, let us pursue Him in the midst of the storm...disregard what we feel is a lack of faith and head straight for His arms! He will carry us!

Jesus Had Schedule Busters Too!

For the caregiver (as with anyone) there are certain things that must be taken care of each day. And there can be a rather lengthy list of more than just important items, many related to health issues, that must be carried out in any given day. And there are things from the other extreme that although they are not pertinent directly to our loved one's health they are important; you know, things like resting, or just watching a movie!

How we react when our schedule gets busted tells us a lot about ourselves. The reactions can range from totally crazy and out there to a quiet, sullen response. A lot of this may depend on your particular personality type as well as your state of mind at the time!

Jesus had a schedule buster too. In Mark 6 He had sent the disciples out to minister. Upon their return they reported all the things they had seen while they were out there. He then told them that it was time for them to go away and rest. (I wish He'd tell me that!) So they went away in the boat to a secluded place by themselves.(Mark 6:32)

But in the very next verse it says that the people saw them going - and went there too! Jesus' reaction tells us a lot. He was simply moved with compassion  and began to teach them! He didn't complain or start trying to explain why He and His disciples needed some time off...What was in His heart just oozed out to the people driven by compassion.

But then He did something I find really interesting. After they fed the 5000 plus, He put the disciples back in the boat and sent them ahead of Him and He dealt with dispersing the crowd. Talk about the ultimate caregiver moment! He unselfishly took care of His disciples and the crowd! Many leaders today tend to make us think that the followers are to take more care of the leader; but Jesus was the ultimate leader - and He took care of everybody else!

This passage helps me remember that HE is my caregiver! He will take care of me even on the crazy days! He never says It's just too much for me - I'm outta here! He patiently pampers and provides everything I need to get through the day!

Right Back to Him

 God is so patient with us. I run to Him so often, I often wonder if He silently shakes His head as I approach for the millionth time. In a ...