Pastor’s Letter  ~ AUGUST 2020

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Pastor’s Letter  ~  August  2020

“When Jesus saw the crowd around him, he gave orders to cross to the other side of the lake. Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Without warning, 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 8:18, 23-27

We all know that there are storms that invade our lives.  No one on Earth is immune to them.  So we take them as a natural part of our existence.  Some storms are in the form of health issues, financial problems, relationships, and you can put your storm in this list.  Sometimes these storms are brought on by ourselves and other times by the world we live in.  Oftentimes they are natural disasters like hurricanes, tornados or damaging winds and flooding.  These are the ones that can catch us off guard but are usually repairable.  They can be frightening indeed.  A storm was brewing and the boat the disciples were in was being violently tossed about. They awaken Jesus and when they do Jesus asks His disciples "You of little faith, why are you so afraid?"  During their voyage across the lake of Galilee, a storm suddenly came upon their little boat seemingly out of nowhere.  Now some of these men were fishermen and knew all about storms on the sea.  Yet this storm was unexpected and put them in great danger.  They are weak, vulnerable and certainly no match for what was happening all around them.  This was a lesson they would never, ever forget.  They woke Jesus up.  He was asleep in the stern.  Perhaps over-tired from all the crowds pressing around Him, Jesus didn’t even awake as the waves began to swamp the boat.  His answer to them must have been a shock.  In the midst of a ferocious storm He chastises them for not having faith?  Why would Jesus answer them like this?  They often forget in whose company that they are in just as we do.  They and we are in the company of the invisible but ever-present God, the Person through whom all things were created, Immanuel, God with us.  It is a lesson for all of us really.  As His present-day disciples, we are in the boat of life with Him.  Even though sometimes life’s circumstances overwhelm us, we can rest assured that we are in our Master’s hands.  Jesus asks us also how much faith we will put in Him.  We need to hear this convicting question on occasion.  Storms swell gradually and some may be on our horizon.  What God wants us to do in these instances is to turn to Him and trust Him through them.  Occasionally He will silence the storm like He did with these disciples.  Other times He puts His hand on us in such a way that we know that He is present in them.  But sometimes He allows the storm to rage so that we can get a bigger perspective of His love and grace.  Imagine if you will that if Jesus had calmed the storm before it happened, these disciples would not have experienced the power of Jesus as He rebuked the wind and the waves.  It isn’t that He turns His back on us; it is in the storm that we learn to trust Him.  This is where the disciples are in this situation.  Yes they were terrified and frightened!  Yet Jesus could see the bigger picture even while He was asleep.  As our Creator, nothing surprises Him.  What He asks of us is that when storms hit, turn to Him and release our fears.  Yes we think this is unnatural because we want to maintain control.  Yet when things are out of control and we can do nothing about them, isn’t it natural just to turn to Him?  I have tried to handle situations in my own strength often times to fail.  I should have turned to Jesus first.  When we fix our eyes on Him, we can say “what storm?”  He is not a bandage on our lives, He is our life!  Like the disciples found out, storms have to obey Him!  He is the Master!  They needed to experience His calming of the storm in order to come to the realization in their life that they could trust in Him no matter what they faced and they were about to face many, many more.  We need the same reassurance.  Sometimes the storms are there to help us navigate life with our trust firmly fixated on Jesus.  It is then we can experience His calming assurance that all things and even our lives are in His loving hands.  How much do you trust Him with your life?  He gave it to you in the first place.  All He asks is to ride out this life with Him.  The next one will be storm free! In His love, Pastor Bill ♥  






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