ADVENT 2021 DEVOTIONAL
One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and set out. As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger.
The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!”
He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. “Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples.
In fear and amazement they asked one another, “Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.”
(Luke 8:22-25, New International Version)
“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
(Matthew 28:20, NIV)
Today’s Reading: Luke 8
“Master, Master, we are perishing!”
Theirs was a cry of survival in the middle of an extraordinary storm. These men knew the sea. Many had made their living fishing on this lake, so a storm that elicited a response of such terror must have been a powerful one.
Jesus had led them into this storm, and now He was asleep? I’d be yelling at Him to wake up too. These disciples had given up everything to follow Him. They must have trusted Him. But when the storm threatened their lives, questions and fear set in.
Yet Jesus’ response to His disciples spoke both to their fear and to His power. He wanted them to know that He had power over the storm. But perhaps more importantly, they needed to experience His presence with them in the storm. Even when they thought death was imminent, they were not alone.
“Where is your faith?” Jesus asked in the hush of a quieted squall.
He was asking, “Is your faith rooted in your circumstances or rooted in Me?” He was there all along, and He was the one who told them to get in the boat. After all they had experienced while following Jesus, they still did not fully comprehend who He was and what it meant to follow Him. They didn’t know that the presence of Jesus in their lives changed everything.
As with the disciples, life circumstances may bring your deepest fears and questions about Jesus to the surface. “Where is your faith?” you may sense the Holy Spirit asking. “Don’t you know who is with you in the most brutal storms of your life?”
I’ve wrestled with this question when sinking under the weight of a terrifying tragedy. Eight years ago, my husband and I buried two newborn daughters, just 14 months apart from one another. The oppressive darkness of death, the grief over my children and the panic that I would never experience the joy of motherhood threatened to paralyze me. How could Jesus possibly redeem this broken part of my story?
Throughout that darkest night of my soul, Jesus reminded me that He was not only right beside me, but He held power over death itself. He knew the number of hours both of my daughters would live outside of my womb (Psalm 139:16). And because Jesus rose from the dead, I am joyfully confident that I will see my girls again.
Jesus has not left your side. He is neither surprised by the storms you encounter nor put off by the questions your suffering has brought to the surface.
How will you trust the God who is with you in the storms of your life?
Thank God that He is with you in the darkest nights of the soul, even when you can’t feel His presence.
How can knowing that Jesus, who holds power over all of life and death, is with you help you look at your circumstances differently?
Lindsey Dennis is a staff member with the campus ministry of Cru®, serving students who intern at Walt Disney World. She is a wife and mother and loves to write and speak. You can read about her journey with Jesus through tragedy in “Buried Dreams: From Devastating Loss to Unimaginable Joy.”
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