It’s not difficult in figuring out what to write about now that the wind and rain of tropical storm Elsa has passed us by.  Thankfully for the Wismer’s household and the Pine Shores’ campus a good cleanup was all that was needed. (Thanks to Bob Keller and Bert Mitchell for the effort and attention to cleaning up the campus.) The storm got me thinking about the times when the destructive forces in life – a terminal diagnosis, a life altering lapse in judgment, a hurtful decision, a pitiful effort, a fractured relationship – have affected us first hand. Each one of us knows exactly what a great tropical storm is like. I also know following Jesus does not give me immunity to the disruptive and destructive events of life.  In scripture there is a story which vividly records the severity of a particular situation — waves were beating into the boat and the boat was ready to capsize.  The stormy sea is much more than an uncontrollable, unpredictable action of nature. It is a malicious expression of the power of destructive forces. Let me remind you when the disciples wake Jesus up from his comfortable sleep, he does not grab on to the rudder to turn the boat around or to guide it on another course. He doesn’t call out for the sails to be hoisted down.  Jesus takes control over what he has power over.  He commanded the very thing which caused the fear, anxiety, worry and doubt to cease.  Jesus’ control over these destructive, life-threatening forces is not merely an expression of sheer power; it is an opportunity to deepen discipleship and faithfulness. He commands what causes our doubt, distress and fear to cease. He commands those causes to cease having power over us.  Jesus removes the root causes of the forces that challenge faithfulness sand discipleship.  Jesus does not allow me (or you) to use any excuses to get in the way of trusting who is present and what that means for our journey and our daily tasks.

Scripture Reading: Mark 4:35-41

Reflection Questions:
What causes you anxiety, worry and doubt?
How are your trusting Christ who is present with you?
In what ways do you exert your power?

Prayer: Holy God, where ever I find myself, you are close exerting power over those things which make me hesitant, fearful and ineffective. Challenge me to become more trusting.  Amen.