Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Be Still and Know

As I sit and look out the sliding glass door in my den, it is hard to imagine that a few days ago blue sky and sunshine was replaced with darkness, wind, and rain. It reminded me of the disciples experience on the Sea of Galilee as told in Mark's gospel chapter 4:35-41. The disciples never anticipated what was about to happen. I'm sure as experienced fishermen they knew that the Sea of Galilee had the potential to become suddenly stormy. They may have even experienced a storm or two in the past. However, what was different this time was they had Jesus with them. So there may have been a feeling of safety and security. "The Master is with us," they may have thought to themselves, "What have we to fear?" As you know in reading the story, their comfort zone was quickly shaken up when the storm started raging furiously and worst of all, their Master was as they perceived it unresponsive, even downright uncaring. Those are the feelings many people, myself included experienced during and after the hurricane. We were warned by the meteorologists and watched day by day as the storm moved closer to the eastern seaboard. We saw the images of devastation in North Carolina as Irene made landfall as a category one hurricane. However as the hurricane moved closer to New England it was downgraded to a tropical storm. There was probably a collective sigh of relief as many silently thought to themselves, "it is not going to be that bad." When the storm finally blew into New England there was tremendous damage and serious flooding in some states. However, the real issue came in the storm's aftermath when thousands lost power. I was expecting perhaps like others that it would only be a couple of hours and the power would be restored. But as the hours turned into days I soon found myself developing an attitude similar to those disciples. The feelings of "don't worry Jesus is with me" quickly turned into "Lord don't you care that I have no electricity?", Can't you see that my food is spoiling and I have to get dressed in the dark?", "Don't you realize that I can't read by candlelight very well or watch T.V. to entertain myself?" I even felt jealousy towards those I knew who had electricity quickly restored or never lost any power at all. I am ashamed to admit my attitude was not very faith filled. However during the power outage when there was enough light I was able to spend more time in prayer and reading the Bible than I typically have time to do. The Lord reminded me that He was very present and I needed to trust Him. I was moved to read the account of Moses and the Israelites at the Red Sea in Exodus chapter 14. The people had a similar attitude when they found themselves with the Read Sea before them and the Egyptian army fast approaching. Their world quickly became unraveled as they criticized Moses for bringing them out of their "safe" place in Egypt to die in the desert. Moses words to them were the words God spoke to my heart, "Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today...The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still." (Exodus 14:13-14) italics mine. The reality was that fear was driving my thinking that I may be forgotten by the electric company and have to wait weeks for the power to be restored, even though I have experienced power outages in the past and the problem has always been addressed. I quickly forgot that God never forgets about my needs. And although what I desire may not come to pass as quickly as I expect, God is still in control. I need only to be still and see the deliverance the Lord will bring.
Blessings and Peace in Christ,
Pastor Sheree

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