Peace Be Still!

But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. Mark 4:38-38 ESV

Once my wife and I were invited to a get-together, at a house we had not been to before in an unfamiliar part of town. This was long before the days of GPS, so I started off listening carefully as my wife called out the directions that our friends had given. I turned left then right despite the fact that were getting increasingly further from town, I kept going, thinking that perhaps this was some sort of shortcut. Finally as we were instructed to turn onto a dirt road, I began to get an uneasy sensation in the bottom of my stomach that something was wrong. My concern was soon confirmed as we came around a sharp bend in the dirt road and it suddenly came to an end in the middle of a cow pasture!

We still laugh when we remember that day, but when more serious events of our lives begin to resemble getting lost in a cow field there is nothing funny about it at all. Events sometimes frightened us to the core. That is how those wet, weary disciples felt in the storm. They had obediently followed Jesus step by step, but the directions he had given seemed to have led them into a storm with no way out. They cried out thinking that Jesus was neither aware of or even cared about their situation. But Jesus did know and He did care both about their storm and ours. He has actually chosen this crazy situation that we are in to show us that He always knows and that He always cares. He has led us into this storm. As a nation a church, a family and an individual Jesus allows storms, so that we can learn to trust in Him – and when we fully trust, He calls out over the roar of the wind and waves, “Peace be still!” and a then great calm from heaven will come.

Now More Than Ever!

The Lord is my light and my salvation. Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life. Of whom then shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1 KJV

When I go for a quiet walk in the park or wade in the waves at the beach, peace seems an easy concept to get a hold of. But with our nation in crisis, and people lining up for miles just hoping for a plane ride out of Afghanistan, peace sounds more like a fairy tale than a reality. In Psalm twenty-seven, King David found himself in a similar circumstance, surrounded by an army, as powerful and deadly as the Taliban. His enemies had already wiped out nearly every man woman and child in the town of Anathoth, for simply giving him and his men a few loaves of bread and a single sword. But on that evening as David looked down at the encampment of blood thirsty men, God asked Him what he was afraid of and on David’s darkest night, the answer came. “The Lord is my light and my salvation. Why should we be afraid?” Just as in David’s day, the Lord remains our light and the only one We can depend on to help us through. Our current state of helplessness does us the favor of reminding us that He alone is true strength!

So what are you facing? What challenge is on your path this morning? God has allowed this situation. At times like these people often say, “God is still in control.”. While that of course is true, it would be even more accurate to say that, “God is more in control now than ever: because we are not!”  He wants us to see that now more than ever, He is our hope and our salvation and we don’t ever need to be afraid!

Taking Care of Mom!

Today I am praying for another person serving in long term care ministry who is facing difficulties in continuing their ministry. The way we all serve has been challenged because-we have not only seen homes closed without notice and restrictions placed on how we can serve but also the lack of understanding in the church of how to help in practical ways.

If you are involved as a caregiver, chaplain, family member or friend,don’t give up whatever the difficulties. Jesus loves widows and orphans and their care has been entrusted us since the moment He gave Mary to John to take care of. She was not given to John as a problem to solve or a burden to carry but as a mother to love and provide for. Our calling as long term care workers is to keep on loving them in every way possible and through every opportunity that God puts in our hands. Notice also that none of the other 10 disciples ever understood or helped John out. While Peter and Paul had big public ministries, John stayed close to home. He was taking care of Mary as a life long commitment. That is our call. It is a life long trust. Some people “get it and others will not but Jesus knows and will give us strength and help and provision because after all- we are taking care of His mom!