Friday, February 4, 2011

Week 2 - Trusting Presence

Immediately after this, Jesus insisted that his disciples get back into the boat and cross to the other side of the lake, while he sent the people home. After sending them home, he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Night fell while he was there alone.

Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves. About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, “It’s a ghost!”

But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here!”

Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.”

“Yes, come,” Jesus said.

So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted.

Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?”

When they climbed back into the boat, the wind stopped. Then the disciples worshiped him. “You really are the Son of God!” they exclaimed.
Matthew 14:22-32, NLT

Over the roar of crashing waves that night, Jesus said to the disciples, “Take courage. It is I!”
The radical truth about Jesus is that He does not reveal God to be one who insists on everything being cleaned up and calmed down before He will show up. No. Our God shows up where we might least expect Him – or want Him, sometimes – right in the middle of all that’s going wrong. And this is what gives Jesus’ words such power. He was not speaking some platitude or cliché from a safe distance; He was inside the storm with His friends.
It was Jesus’ presence with His friends that opened a way for them through their fear into a new experience of a reality greater than the one that was swamping them at the moment.
As we weather storms and times of deep transition in our lives, if we listen closely, we might hear the Spirit of Jesus say to us, “Remember, this is ME you’re talking to! Remember that I am the one who loves deeply, who calms the sea. I care for the hungry, the hurting, and the broken. I am your friend, and I am right here.”
As human beings prone to fear, the first step toward trusting God is to receive the courage He gives to us in the form of His presence. When we remember that the Prince of Peace walks with us as our friend, we can let go of fear in anything we face. And, like Peter, we may find ourselves doing things we never imagined possible.
The Real Question: Have I fully received God’s presence into my life this day? Where might I trust Him more if I did?
Family Talk:  When do you feel God is closest? 
ONE in Prayer:  Jesus, it is amazing that You come to me in the midst of my troubles, pain, and brokenness, but I know that it is Your love that makes all things well. Help me to remember Your love and presence are with me as I learn to trust you more. Amen.

I don't really have a choice but to trust God in our efforts to start a family.  It is obvious that we are NOT in control.  He is.  He is the creator.  As much as I think I want to start a family of our own, I don’t want to manufacture it myself out of my own efforts.  I feel this putting distance between me and God.  This has changed from asking God specifically for a child to a more general approach of trusting and asking Him to reveal his purpose in my life.  Blessing us with a child may or may not be part of that, but there is still a purpose and a plan.  I have simplified contentment in my heart.  Contentment is simply that God has already given me everything when He offered salvation to me. 
– Twila

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