Sunday, June 26, 2011

Wave Action, Stilling the Storm

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about life, it's that it happens without my permission. Lately I’ve been overloaded with things I have no control over. This is nothing new; as a matter of fact I should be fairly used to it by now. Whether from job stress, decisions, or family concerns…there is plenty of wave action happening around me.

Remembering the story of when the disciples got into a boat with Jesus to go across the lake enables me to endure the waves, because this story has a message for me too.

While sailing across the lake, a storm came up. The disciples wake Jesus who had fallen asleep and frantically cry, “Teacher, don’t you care that we are perishing?” They call Him, Teacher, but when Jesus calms the wind and the waves with words, they question each other, wondering who He could be because even the winds obeyed Him.

Throughout the Gospels they come face to face with themselves and their ability to believe as Jesus cast out demons, healed a woman who’d been bleeding for years, and raised up a girl who was pronounced dead. ..For three years He continued to build their faith in His ability to meet their every need. Jesus met every situation with wisdom, grace and discernment. It wasn’t long before they believed in Him as their LORD.

In my boat, I have cried out to Him too. Intellectually I know everything is under control because He is sovereign, but in my heart things don’t feel quite so peaceful. The thing I have learned is that Jesus is in my boat. Through this story I know that everything I face gives me opportunities for a greater glimpse of who He is and how He is able to work mighty things in my life. In the midst of life’s storms, He has the power to bring stillness to my heart as I trust that He commands all by His name.

So when the stormy winds begin to blow, listen for His voice commanding all to be still. Then watch for a new understanding of His character because His power is the same as He quiets the storms raging around us yesterday, today and forever.

Tell of how you learned more about Him through your storms, and,

                                                                               Stay in the boat. Jesus is there!


Read this story in three of the Gospels; Matthew 8:18-27, Mark 4:35-41, and Luke 8:22-25

Images courtesy of

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Waiting on Him - Thoughts about Pentecost

My kindred-spirit friends, Jenny and Karen roamed the trails of the National Park on Prince Edward Island with me last summer. Wildflowers waved in the warm sea breeze and sea grass tufts dotted the sandy dunes. They chose to climb the dunes to see what was on the other side. I decided the threat of snakes hiding in the tall grass wasn’t worth the view. I snapped their pictures as they ascended the sandy hills. They paused at the top so I could get their “we made it” pose captured on film; then they disappeared over the crest while I waited, alone.

I paced the pathway, taking macro pictures of Queen Anne’s lace and fat caterpillars lazing on leaves. I watched, shielding my eyes from the sun, but they stayed hidden by the dune barrier. Eventually they appeared at the crest of the dune path, but not before I wished I had gone with them. I feel like I missed out on part of the adventure by waiting behind.

In Acts chapter one, Jesus tells His disciples, “Wait in Jerusalem for the Helper, who will give you power to be my witnesses.” Then He was taken up to Heaven, and disappeared beyond the clouds. I wonder how they felt. I wonder if they minded having to wait. I can imagine their discussions amongst each other, wondering ‘just who or what this Helper was’ anyway.

In Acts chapter two, we can read about the coming power Jesus promised: The rushing wind, the flames of fire and the words spoken in other tongues. From that day, believers in Christ have been given the Holy Spirit’s indwelling power. Jesus’ promise that He will never leave us, now makes sense. His Spirit fills us so that we can not only be His witnesses, but we can live the life that God calls us to, one worthy of His calling.

I believe that throughout our Christian walk we will face times of waiting—situations when we will need to come before Him to receive the power needed for what He calls us to do. Waiting can be a time of surrender, or in the case of Moses, a time of preparation. As hard as waiting can be, I have learned that it is never wasted. Waiting and stillness often produces far more than we imagine. Even Jesus took time to wait in the Father’s presence, because in God’s sovereignty He brings all things together—as scripture often says, “In the fullness of time.”

As we step out to answer God's call to serve, may we be mindful of needing to wait in His presence for the power needed to complete the task we have been given. Where God calls, He provides what we need as we surrender ourselves and wait for the Holy Spirit’s power and direction. Waiting may seem hard. We may not understand what’s needed to accomplish the tasks, but can trust in His word that promises His power and direction to equip us to serve if we will tarry in His presence.

Waiting on Him,


Sunday, June 05, 2011

Drink Deeply: Bread, Fish, Pennies and Perfume

For the last week I have been taking atomic medications for bronchitis. I have been so dehydrated from all of the decongestant and antihistamines; all I want to do is drink water. I am not sure if that’s why this phrase popped up in my writing this week. But, it fits. Scripture is pretty clear about Jesus being the Living Water and his visit with the woman at the well confirms that when we are thirsty, we need to come to Him. He is the wellspring that never runs dry; the source of everything we need.

I watched as a hummingbird darted amongst my flowers this morning. I wanted to capture it drinking from my flowers with my camera, but he was too quick; zip-sip, zip-sip and he was gone. Yet I noticed he couldn’t stay away. He returned often to those same flowers to drink deeply of the sweet nectar.

So often in my quiet time with God, I read His word and meditate on its meaning for my life. I return to passages that have spoken truth in a situation and drink deeply again on His faithfulness to provide. This brought me to three scriptures I would like to share with you. Each of them is rich with something for us to drink deeply from. And, they were brought to my mind as I realized that I am so guilty of being miserly with my resources (time, talents, etc.) so I drank deeply of the connectedness of these messages myself this week.

Matthew 14:13-21 – Feeding of the 5,000

Mark 14:3-9 – The woman with the alabaster vial of perfume

Luke 21:1-4 – The widow’s offering

In each of these stories something is given; a boy’s lunch; a vial of expensive perfume and two copper coins. Each of the givers gave everything they had to Jesus. As I stopped to drink deeply of His wellspring, this is what I heard the Lord say about bread, fish, pennies and perfume:

I have given you so much and equipped you with the Holy Spirit’s power! Don’t be afraid that if you give it back to me, that the well will run dry. Your offerings of time, talents and giftedness, even though they seem small and insignificant to you, I will multiply them to feed a multitude of those who are hungry and thirsty for Me. And, when you pour out yourself as an offering to Me, though you are broken, you will spread the fragrance of Me to others who need to know that I am the Truth and the Source for everything they need.

Though I am tempted to hoard my resources so that I won’t run dry, He is asking me to give everything I have to Him and allow Him to be the one to multiply them to satisfy a hungry and thirsty crowd. I will be sipping on this one for awhile….

Drink deeply from the Eternal Spring,