Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Where We Put Our Trust

Matthew 8:24-27
24A windstorm arose on the sea, so great that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but Jesus was asleep.25The disciples went and woke him up, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!” 26 And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, you of little faith?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a dead calm. 27 They were amazed, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him?”
A church council member shared a devotion based on that scripture reading at our regular church council meeting in September. Our council president used it with the congregation at Sunday's evening's forum. I'm adapting it here for publication in our church's October newsletter, the Parish Pulse. It's a good reminder to turn our attention to the Lord in stressful times.
"As always, the behavior of the disciples in the gospel is not merely of historical interest, but more of relevance to our own lives. Although the account of Jesus in the boat is brief, it seems apparent that Jesus is disappointed with the depth of their trust. He wakes to quiet the storm, but says to the disciples: Why are you afraid, you of little faith?

Faith is tested and shows it's true character in difficulties, in crushing disappointment, in sorrow, or in betrayal. The demeanor of the disciples in their trial tells the rest of us that our faith is never to be taken for granted. How do we know our faith will hold up? What can we do to prepare ourselves for the times which try our faith?

Since faith is God's gift, we must trust God. It is God who sustains our faith. When we need a deeper faith, a faith that will stand up in all kinds of storms, we turn our attention toward God. We pray for that faith that allows us a deep confidence in God at every moment, in every hour, during every day and through every dark night.
There are many times when we cannot see how God will work it all out for good. Like the disciples in the storm, we wonder what is happening and we panic. But, when we turn toward our Lord, as he has always been revealed in scripture, we can be confident. We are never alone. God has kept us safe thus far. The storm will cease. And we will be safe in his care.

No storm is bigger or stronger than our God. So, as we move ahead toward the future God has promised and prepared, we do as we have always done. We pray every day, worship every week, read the Bible, serve and relate with others (it's so good for us!), and we continue to give as God has first given to us.

Now, nothing I’ve said here should to make you think there is no storm. A storm, a spiritual battle is actually occurring in the ELCA. There is great danger. But, in the storm, remember this—Our Lord does not change, and neither do those things that strengthen our precious faith.

So we pray:
Lord, we know from the Gospels your power and loving care; help us to trust you above all other powers and securities, and more and more put our trust in you rather than in our own power or our own plans.

1 comment:

  1. I revised this post a bit after reading "Listen to the Lullaby or the Canary" found at