1/15/2021 Junior High Devotional

Devotional 5 

Have you ever felt like your life was over? (That’s a dramatic way to start)

I mean you knew life wasn’t “over”, but you felt like it was over. You know what I mean? Sometimes it feels like everything is not going the way we want it to. Our schedule isn’t working out, our friends aren’t following through like we’d like them to, and on top of that we seem to have too much work. 

Yeah, we’ve all had moments like that. In the new year it’s always exciting because there’s a sense that things will be better. Well, we’re in 2021 and if we’re being honest many of us are feeling afraid that new doesn’t mean better. The last two weeks in our nation have been heavy. There have been various political events that have led to social unrest. The hopes for something better have seemingly dwindled out in record time. I mean it almost feels like we are about to drown, and the year has hardly even started. 

Although these past two weeks have been heavy, I want to direct us to a story that brings hope. It is a wild story. It’s a story that invites us into a new reality, one that doesn’t make sense, yet at the same time makes perfect sense. 

In Matthew 8 Jesus and his disciples find themselves in the midst of a storm. They’re in a boat sailing across the sea when they begin to be bombarded by ruthless wind and rain. I can imagine the scene. The disciples desperately trying to hold onto the different ropes and sails as the wind and waves hammer against the boat. The intense rain pouring with lightning cracking all around them. I mean a storm like that must have been a truly scary place to be. 

In fact it was such a scary place that scripture says that the disciples actually feared drowning. They were afraid that their boat would tip over and that they would quickly find themselves at the bottom of the sea. This was a real situation! 

They finally turn to Jesus for help and to their shock they find Jesus sleeping. Yup. Knocked out cold, dreaming and resting up as they fought against a storm. A strange place for a nap. I mean I’m known for being able to sleep almost anywhere, but a storm ? In a boat? I don’t think so. Yet, Jesus was sleeping through the storm. 

Jesus finally wakes up to the cries of his disciples. He stands up, looks at them, and asks a question: “why are you so afraid?”. Then Jesus turned around and calmed the storm. In a moment chaos turned to peace. All the craziness that comes with a storm is calmed to a peaceful, still, day. 

What an incredible story! The impossible is done. Jesus is able to control the wind and the waves. Nature itself listens to the commands of Jesus. Wow! Yet if we focused only on Jesus’s ability to calm the storm we’d be missing something important. Jesus asks why the disciples are afraid before he calms the storm. In one question Jesus rearranged the way that we looked at life. He created a new reality, one in which he seems to be suggesting that we don’t need the storm to be calm to experience peace.

This is a hard concept to grasp because we work based on what is safe and unsafe. Yet Jesus works in a different reality. For Jesus, he knew that the disciples were safe because he was in the boat. You see if Jesus is in our boat then we are in the safest place we can be. 

This reminds me of that old song that goes “With Jesus in the boat I can smile at the storm, smile at the storm, smile at the storm. With Jesus in my boat I can smile at the storm, as we go sailing by”

Today, trust that Jesus is in your boat. With Jesus in your boat you have access to all the courage and strength of God. God is with you in the midst of the storm. I pray you find rest in that today.

Author: Andy Palomares, Youth Pastor at Crosswalk SDA Church

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