Mark 4:35-41 (NIV)

35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” 39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. 40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”  41 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”   

James 1:12(NIV)

12 Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.   

DEVOTION – Dan Nelson (North Carolina)

For our midday worship service at the shelter, our student intern offered a different perspective on today’s story of Jesus’ calming the storm.  Usually, we affirm Jesus’ divinity by focusing on verse 41: “Who is this?  Even the wind and the waves obey him!”  This time we paused at verse 38 where the disciples find Jesus sleeping, wake him, and ask, “Don’t you care if we drown? (Mark 4:38)

All of us can relate to the disciples’ frustration.  “Jesus you calmed a storm, fed the 5,000, and raised the dead; where were you today when 15,000 children died of hunger?  Where were you for all the months I prayed for work and doors closed in my face?  Jesus, wake up!  ‘Don’t you care if we drown?”

Before we doubt what we cannot understand, we can recall that Jesus died on a cross for us.  Christ knows that “the whole creation has been groaning” for redemption (Rom. 8:22).  Even when we are so broken that words will not come, the Holy Spirit hears our prayers and intercedes for us with God.  (See Rom. 8:26.)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Jesus showed his love for us through his death and resurrection.

PRAYER: Giver of every good and perfect gift, help us.  Heal our unbelief.  Amen.

PRAYER FOCUS: SOMEONE ENDURING A PERSONAL CRISIS

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