What’s in a name? – Part one

We were all given a name when we were born by our parents.  They searched and discussed names until they came to an agreement of what to call you.  If you’re like me, then you’ve wondered what made your parents name you what they did.  I asked my mother many years ago the reason I’m named Laurie Denise and yet she called me Denise.  Her answer was that she named me after a singer-actress from the late 40s, Denise Lor.  The reason she didn’t name me Denise Laurie is that she didn’t like the way it sounded.  Parents have opinions about names and those influence the resulting moniker for you.  When my husband and I named our children, I remember rejecting the name he liked for our daughter because I knew someone with that name.  I didn’t consider her a very nice person and didn’t want that reminder around me.  Parents have reasons for the names they choose.  The names given to Jesus throughout the scriptures have reasons as well.  In this series we will seek to understand some of the names given to Jesus and how that should affect our lives. 

There may be some of us who have suffered teasing or ridicule from others because of our name.  Sometimes the effort to make the name of the child be unique causes others to respond with finger pointing and bullying.  You have probably suffered this yourself or know of someone who has.  I remember how in my high school the last name of one particular student became the putdown for others.  The name was used as a description of not measuring up to the crowd’s opinion.  This is hard.  It hurts.  Jesus suffered for his name.  In fact, as followers of Christ we have the privilege of suffering for the name of Jesus. 

“…they beat them and charged them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.  Then they left the presence of the counsel rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name.” Acts 5:40b-41

These verses are describing what Peter and the apostles were going through after Jesus’ ascension to heaven.  Here’s what it teaches us.

  1. The name of Jesus is cause for joy in the midst of suffering.  Reminding ourselves of Jesus’ name and who he is can bring us joy.  It doesn’t take the suffering away but the reminder of why Jesus suffered for us will bring about joy.
  2. The name of Jesus is cause to choose right even when told to do wrong.  The apostles were told by the governing body to no longer speak the name of Jesus but they didn’t obey!  They spoke the name of Jesus and called others to follow him.  Jesus said to go into all the world and preach the gospel.  This can’t be done without speaking his name. 
  3. The name of Jesus may mean we’ll have to be dishonored so that he isn’t.   The jokes, sarcasm, slander, gossip, bullying, and laughing may be things we must endure for the name of Jesus.  We know Jesus, who he is, what he’s done, and what he continues to do on our behalf.  We can persevere for his name.

“But the Lord said to him, Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel.  For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.” Acts 9:15-16

This is said to Ananias concerning Paul.  The Lord had chosen Paul to reach others with the gospel of Jesus Christ.  He is our example.  We learn…

  1. We are to carry the name of Jesus.  As followers of Christ, his name is our identity.  Jesus lives through each of us as we follow him and obey his command to love.  Not only is he our identity but we are called to carry his name to others.  We wear it and we share it!
  2. We will suffer for his name.  This may not be uplifting to us because no one likes to suffer, but as we’ve seen in the previous verses, it is a privilege to suffer for him.  His name deserves honor and we are not to forsake it.

“Then Paul answered, What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart?  For I am ready not only to be imprisoned but even to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” Acts 21:13

Paul had been pulled aside by those who loved him in order that they might convince him to protect himself and not go to Jerusalem.  They knew he would be arrested but Paul was willing to do what God had called him to do. He’s our example.

  1. We can’t always protect others from suffering.  We want to especially protect the vulnerable.  The idea of a child going to a remote part of the world to spread the gospel can be a hard one.  Suffering will most certainly be a part of a choice like that.  The name of Jesus is worth the suffering and our efforts to protect will be fruitless.
  2. We need to be willing to suffer for Christ and allow others to do so as well.  The willingness of Paul to go to Jerusalem when he knew prison awaited him was all about the name of Jesus.  He wanted to spread his name.  The suffering was not considered as something from which to run away.  It takes prayer and dependence on Christ to be willing to suffer for his name’s sake.

Our name is important to us but there is no name more important than Jesus.  His name means Savior, something we can never achieve.  Because he is Savior, we can suffer for his name with confidence.  One day, and maybe soon, this will happen,

“so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth.”  Philippians 2:10

THE SPIRITUAL BATTLE -SUFFERING AND SATAN’S DEVICES – Part three

PREPARATION FOR THE SPIRITUAL BATTLE

How do we prepare for the battle we don’t know is coming?  How do we know what to expect in the midst of suffering?  What are we to do when suffering hits, and Satan tempts us to give up or be angry?  We have established in this series that God is sovereign and good.  I’ve had the opportunity to preach this to myself recently.  About three weeks ago, my husband had a major heart attack.  Once again, suffering is brought into my life as I’m teaching and writing about the subject. When it happened, it was like the phone call that changes your life in an instant.  My life was changed and everything was put on hold.  This part three had to wait for four weeks to be written, but I’m glad for it.  The whole armor of God is our preparation as we realize we have it and need to rely on the strength it provides.

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.  Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.” Ephesians 6:10-11

  1.  Our strength comes from the Lord’s might!

We are not invincible!  We are not superhuman!  The truth is, we are frail individuals who need direction and strength from our creator.  This is not something we always agree with because, “hey, I got this!”  As I watched my husband struggling with the pain of a heart attack, I felt strong.  This was not my strength, but God’s.  I knew it was bad but I could actually feel the Lord’s presence as I called 911.  The strength of the Lord was with me at this desperate time.  Now, as I look back, I recognize it.  There were times in the days ahead when I had to remind myself of his strength in order to move forward.   We never learn to the point of completion while on this earth.  This was obvious to me in the days ahead.

“Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.” Ephesians 6:14-15

  • Our stand is in the truth and righteousness of the gospel!

Standing, for a long period of time, can be difficult.  We begin to look for a chair in which we can sit.  We want relief for our legs and feet as they have been in one place too long.  When suffering comes, we are called to stand in the midst of it, even when it’s long and hard. This standing has a firm foundation: the gospel.  As followers of Christ we have the righteousness of Christ to help us to stand when we really want to fall down. When my husband was in the hospital, there was one night in which I spent a few hours in prayer and praise to the Lord.  It was in the middle of the night and I was thinking I wouldn’t be able to stand so I sought the Lord in prayer.  He led me to the Psalms where I spent time reading.  It was just what I needed.  God never leaves us to stand alone.  He gives us his truth and his righteousness to stand on!

“In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.”  Ephesians 16-18a

  • Our hope is in the Word of God and God, Himself.

So many times we think like the world thinks in that we wish and hope for what we want or think is best.  When it doesn’t happen we respond in disappointment, anger, or sadness.  The truth is our hope needs to be in God himself.  To know how much we can be confident in our hope in him, we must seek to find out more about him from his word.  It was so tempting in the hospital to put my hope in the doctors or the nurses or the medicine.  So much is happening so fast with medical issues that our focus can be on those in front of us.  It was easy to forget the bigger picture.  But God reminded me to hope in him alone when there was an emergency procedure taking place on my husband’s heart.  It was a whirlwind of activity in the room but God gave me peace in himself.  I had to acknowledge him, placing all my hope and trust in his care of my husband.  He is the hope in all circumstances on which we can depend. 

As followers of Christ, we have the armor of God.  We have to utilize what we’ve been given.  We have been given all we need for life and godliness. (2 Peter 1:3) Our problem is we allow our suffering to overshadow what we’ve been given.  The suffering becomes greater than the armor of God. There is a spiritual battle we face each day.  Satan wants to use our suffering to tempt us away from the Lord.  Don’t let him do that!  Remember you have the armor and God!  Satan doesn’t have a hold on you, God does!

THE SPIRITUAL BATTLE -SUFFERING AND SATAN’S DEVICES – Part one

Suffering is part of the life of everyone who breathes on this earth.  It doesn’t matter whether you are a believer or not; we all suffer.  Our suffering can be in the areas of relationships, health, sin, or the results of a natural disaster.  We can suffer emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually. The suffering we face can be a primetime for Satan to tempt us.  We must be aware of this by knowing the reasons why this is so.  In this blog series, let’s look at suffering, Satan, preparation for battle, and the knowledge of God. We will begin with the reasons our suffering is a great time for Satan to target us.

  1.  Suffering brings about fragility. 

If you’re like me, you never want to be thought of as fragile.  We consider being fragile a negative trait. Let’s think of being fragile as a result of how we are in the midst of suffering.  We may be physically worn down, mentally not sharp, or emotionally spent!  Suffering causes us to realize that we are not as strong as we thought we were.  We need someone greater than us to help us through our struggles. We need Jesus Christ.  “But he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” 2 Corinthians 12:9a  This verse reminds us that, in our weakness, God will give us grace and his power takes over.  This is what we need but this is not always where we turn.

In our fragility we are prime targets for temptation.  We are weak and so we listen to intrusive thoughts which tempt us to turn from God.  In this state, during suffering, we may decide that God is responsible for our suffering.  Once that happens we tend to look elsewhere for help in our fragility.  Satan is very aware of our suffering and how we are handling it.  He comes at us with lies about God.  This is a number one device of his.  He has used it from the beginning when he said to Eve, “Did God really say?…” Genesis 3:1  When we are weak, we are more prone to listen to the thought that God is not really who he says he is. We must choose to believe who God is and of our need for him when we are fragile.  We need him when we suffer.

  • Suffering brings a desire to escape.

I’m fairly certain no one likes to suffer.  As the scripture reminds us, we love ourselves naturally.  This causes us to want relief from any suffering we may go through during our lifetime.  We want to escape it.  We want it to be over. This is really a normal human reaction to suffering.  The problem with this thinking is that it can become the goal.  We have to remember our goal needs to please God in whatever we go through or whatever we do.  (2 Corinthians 5:9)  If we make our goal escape or relief, then we are very open to temptations from Satan.

What happens is that we consider things like “if I do this or that”, or “maybe I’ll just give up”, or “life isn’t fair so I’m out of here”.  These thoughts do not chase after the goal of pleasing God.  In fact, these thoughts are more in line with erasing God from the equation.  When we do that then we are in a dangerous position. We are actually more vulnerable to Satan’s attempt to make God less than who he is. 

Suffering is hard! No one likes it!  We have to be prepared to go through suffering with the goal of pleasing God firmly planted in our minds. This doesn’t mean we don’t feel the suffering, but it does mean that, in the midst of it, we trust God.  He is the only one who can get us through whatever challenges we face.  Let’s ask ourselves these questions when we are tempted to give in because we are fragile and want it to end.

  1.  What do I know to be true about God right now? Spend some time thinking about God’s character and take time to write it down.  Apply his character to your situation.
  2. What do I remember about God’s work in my life?  If you’ve lived more than 5 years, you can look back and see how God has worked in your life.  In this remembrance, you’ll find hope.  He is the same God!
  3. How can I please God in the midst of this suffering?  Answering the first two questions is actually part of the answer for this question.  But, you need to go farther and realize what it would look like for you trust God wherever you find yourself. 

 “So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him.”             2 Corinthians 5:9

CHRISTMAS…A DIFFERENT FEEL

This Christmas will be a first without a parent for me.  I won’t be sitting next to Dad cutting his meat, or keeping Mom from eating all the chocolates on the table.  My brother will not be offering Dad another glass of tea or giving him another sea salt caramel.  These tasks will be missed this year.  These acts, that sometimes felt like too much, is now a missing part of my heart.  I know that it’s the first Christmas without loved ones for many.  There are also those who are ill or in the hospital and will be missed at the dinner table.  Another difference may be family members, who are bitter for whatever reason, and will not be a part of family gatherings this year.  We are all facing a COVID Christmas which brings with it limitations on how many with whom we can celebrate. So how do we look at the lights, the tree, the gifts, the dinner, and the movies this year?  There are many different responses we can have to Christmas this year. We can cancel it all together, stay home and cry, or we can honor God in our celebration.

Isn’t it tempting to run away from hard situations?  It certainly seems like it would be easier to do that, but is it really?  When we run, it doesn’t change the situation.  In fact, if we run from this Christmas, there will always be next Christmas with the same situation.  It’s better to face it now and know that God will help us through it.

            “Behold, God is my helper; the Lord is the upholder of my life.” Psalm 54:4

God is our helper this Christmas, when life is different and hard.  He upholds my life.  Wow!  That’s quite a statement.  When I feel like falling, he will hold me up.  When I feel like running, he’ll gently pull me back.  God is always faithful to us and walks with us each step of the way.  How can we not honor God when he’s already sent his son for us?  How can we not honor God when he’s upholding us in our time of grief and confusion?  The way to honor him is to move through each day remembering that he is moving with us.  We are never alone.

I think one of the best quotes I’ve heard concerning Christmas, suffering, and loss is from Paul Tripp in the Surviving the Holidays video from GriefShare.

“If there weren’t pain, suffering, sin, destruction, discouragement and death, there would be no need for Christmas.  This holiday is about suffering.  This holiday is about pain.  Now what we’ve done, and it’s right do that, we’ve made this a holiday of celebrations.  Because we celebrate the coming of the Messiah.  But in so doing we forget why he came.  He came to end suffering.  He came to end death.  He came to end sin and brokenness and pain and destruction and discouragement.  And so this is the sufferers holiday.  Rather than the holiday to be evaded, I ought to run to Christmas.”

See, the focus here is not on what I feel this season, but on what God has done for us.  We don’t need to run from our feelings.  Instead we need to take them to the God who has provided open arms for sufferers.  He is waiting with open arms to embrace us with his love and understanding.  We need Christmas to remind us of how great a Messiah we have.  This year may be different, but God never changes so Christmas hasn’t really changed, only our circumstances.  The true meaning of Christmas and what was accomplished because of it never changes.

My place at the table may have changed, but God knows and I can rest in his upholding my life in his hands.  Life continues on and I know that one day someone will cut my meat, serve my tea, and keep my hands out of the candy.  For that I’m grateful because, even then, the baby born on Christmas day to be the Savior of the world will still be upholding and loving me with steadfast love.

“…Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”  Luke 2:10-11

UNHELPFUL HELPERS – PART 3 Spiritualizing Samantha

When we go through trials, we want to find the right kind of help.  As followers of Christ, we want to have help from someone who is a mature believer.  This is a good thing because we should seek help from someone who can point us to the scriptures.  The problem is, even a mature believer can be unhelpful by using the scriptures too trivially or taking them out of context.  We must be careful with the scriptures in order to be helpful to others.

Spiritualizing Samantha

Samantha loves to help people.  She feels she knows the scriptures well enough to be able to come along side another and give hope.  As she listens to the one who needs help, her mind is racing.  She is thinking of a verse or something about God that she can impart to the one needing help.  Samantha wants to appear as if she has all the answers to the problems of the world, or at least look impressive to her friend.  The thing is, she really thinks she is helping.  After all, isn’t the Bible the place to go for help?  Some of the things Samantha may say are actually true but not actually helpful.

“God works all things out for good.”

“Rejoice in the Lord always!”

“God is Sovereign.”

“God is faithful.”

Every one of the statements above are true but when someone is hurting greatly, they are not always helpful.  It becomes very flippant in a difficult situation for someone to say, “Oh well, God is sovereign.”  That is not helpful to the one who is hurting.  These truths can certainly be used but there has to be more.  To make these statements and then smile as if everything is going to be okay doesn’t make things okay.

Humble Harriet

Harriet know these truths about God and she know scriptures to back them up.  However, this is not where Harriet begins.  She starts with entering into the upset the trial has caused her friend.  She remembers how Jesus entered into the grief of the people over Lazarus’ death.  Jesus wept even though he knew he was going to raise Lazarus from the dead.  He entered into the pain and suffering of Mary, Martha, and the others who were walking with him on the way to the tomb.  We can’t be any help until we enter into the suffering.

Harriet reaches for her friend’s hand and holds it as she listens to the pain she is going through.  She may just hold her friend and pray for her.  Harriet is building a bridge of trust with her friend which will lead to being able to share the truths of God with her.  There will be more acceptance of these truths because the suffering one knows she is loved.

“Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” Romans 12:15

It is easier to rejoice with someone than to weep with them, but we are called to do both.  If we humble ourselves to enter into the suffering, then our minds are not consumed with trying to have the right answers.  Instead, we will find ourselves loving our friend well.

In conclusion, we are to study the scriptures to build up our knowledge of God, not for the purpose of being puffed up about what we know.  The more we know about God, the more we’ll realize how compassionate and gentle he is.  The truth is we should imitate him in ALL of our life which would include the help we give to others.  Don’t use the word of God trivially or flippantly! Use it for the good and comfort of others!

“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.  And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”  Ephesians 5:1-2

 

 

 

LIFE…A PAINTBALL WAR

 

Have you ever been in a paintball war?  “Paintball is a competitive team shooting sport in which players eliminate opponents from play by hitting them with round, breakable dye-filled oil and gelatin pellets (“paintballs”), usually shot from a compressed air (nitrogen) or carbon dioxide-powered low-energy air weapon called paintball marker.” (according to Google)  You should wear layers of clothing which consists of long sleeves and long pants, headgear with a face shield, boots, and take ibuprofen for muscle pain.  It’s all about being prepared to feel the splat of the paintball.  The only thing you can’t be prepared for is where the paintball will come from or where it may hit you. Whether you are an amateur or a professional, the game will come to an end.  It’s then that you can laugh at the paint you and others are wearing as you do a recap of the game together.  Our daily life is similar in some ways but very different in others from a paintball war.  Let’s look at life using a paintball lens.

We compete with people in life.

Unfortunately, this is very true of us.  We have a tendency to want to be better than someone else.  That’s our sinful selfish nature rearing its ugly head.  Is it the “Miss America” syndrome which tells us we are special or just the love of ourselves?  There is such a desire to compare ourselves to others.  It makes us feel better about ourselves because there’s always someone sinning more or worse off than we are.  Jesus warns us about this when he told the parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector.  The Pharisee prays, “…God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.  I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.” Luke 18:11-12  Even as we read this, we may have the temptation to say in our hearts, “I’m not that bad.  I don’t pray that way about myself.”  Be careful because we don’t really have to say it to be guilty of the competition with others.  Just as those who fight in a paintball war must prepare themselves for the battle, we must be ready to fight our competitive spirit.  Jesus reminds us how, “…the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” Luke 18:14b  We need to put on humility and see ourselves as God sees us, as needy sheep.

We shoot people in life.

You may be shaking your head thinking, “I’ve never shot anyone”.  The truth is we all have with our words, actions, or thoughts.  We spit paintballs at others splattering them with our garbage.  We don’t think before we speak or act, not considering how it will affect the one with which we are engaging.  Sometimes we strategize how we can best get to someone, other times we just react without any forethought.   “…those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works.  These things are excellent and profitable for people.” Titus 3:8b  We are to be careful to devote ourselves to good works for the benefit of others.  This is a reminder to not shoot people but to do good to people.  On the paintball field of life, we should be helping them, not contributing to their pain.

We get shot in life.

We will all be on the receiving end of the splat of another hard circumstance in life.  Those who are going to fight a paintball war prepare by layering their clothing and wearing gear for protection.  This is not always possible in life.  The hard circumstances come at us when we least expect them.  How do we prepare for that?  Perhaps you can relate to being in a hard circumstance, trying to manage it when another one hits you in the back of the head.  You never even saw it coming.  This circumstance adds to the other one so, now, the pain starts to increase but ibuprofen will not relieve it.  Just about that time another circumstance hits you from another angle, then another, and another.  This can be overwhelming to the point of making us feel defeated.  Extra clothes or head gear will not help us.  There is only one help, God.  The problem is that it’s hard to see God in the midst of so many paintball splats.  We become blinded to how He is working or if He is working at all.  What do we do?

 

We remember.

When it’s hard to see beyond our feelings of defeat, we must remember God.  We remember the difficult times from our past and how he rescued us.  We reflect on His Word and the help it can give us.  “I am severely afflicted; give me life, O Lord, according to your word!” Psalm 119:107  This is a great reminder of how God’s Word will help us when we are afflicted.  These circumstances that continue to splat us may be the handiwork of evil men.  We have been given Psalm 37 to meditate on and put into practice.  From this Psalm we need to remember,

“Fret not yourself because of evil doers; be not envious of wrongdoers!” vs. 1

“Trust in the Lord and do good;” vs. 3

“Delight yourself in the Lord” vs.4

“Commit your way to the Lord” vs. 5

“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;” vs. 7

We need to remember these words and put them into practice as we are hit by hard circumstances. We may not be able to control the incoming splat, or even prepare for it, but we can remember how to respond after the splat.

God holds us.

“The steps of a man are established by the Lord, when he delights in his way; though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the Lord upholds his hand.” Psalm 37:23-24

In eternity we will enjoy times of remembering the great deeds of God together as we recap how the gospel saved us and sustained us.

HERE COMES ANOTHER WAVE!

Originally posted 7-15-2016

Waves are active on oceans, lakes and rivers.  They are caused by the wind as it blows across the surface of the water.  The size of the wave is determined by three factors:  wind speed, distance of open water that the wind has blown over and the length of time the wind has blown over a given area.  The smaller waves are fun to jump into and allow the power to carry you for a distance.  The larger waves can be fun too for those who enjoy surfing, seeking to ride the wave for as long as they can.  But waves can be dangerous.  The most dangerous is probably a tsunami.  “A tsunami is a series of ocean waves caused by earthquakes that sends surges of water, sometimes reaching heights of over 100 feet (30.5 meters), onto land. These walls of water can cause widespread destruction when they crash ashore.” (National Geographic definition)  This type of wave does not happen often but when it does, it causes devastating damage and loss of life.  As we live our lives it can feel like a series of waves.  Some are small problems and some are tsunami sized problems.  What do we need to know?  What do we need to remember?

There was a time on the Sea of Galilee when the disciples and Jesus were in a boat being tossed by the waves.

“On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, ‘Let us go across to the other side.’  And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was.   And other boats were with him.  And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling.  But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion.  And the woke him and said to him, ‘Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?’  And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, ‘Peace!  Be still!’  And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.  He said to them, ‘Why are you so afraid?  Have you still no faith?’”  Mark 4:35-40

The disciples were afraid of the storm which was causing wave after wave to hit their boat.  The boat was filling with water.  They had no peace within them as the boat was tossed back and forth.  Jesus, on the other hand, was asleep in the stern.  The tossing was not keeping him awake or causing him concern.  Because of their fear, they woke up Jesus with a question about his care of them.  There was no remembrance of how much Jesus had shown love to them on many other occasions.  Their focus was on the waves and not on whom Jesus had shown Himself to be.  Jesus responded in love and kindness and brought about great calm with only His words.  He did this because He loved his disciples.

As we live our lives we encounter many trials and temptations along with way.  Sometimes we can find ourselves in a place like the disciples where one thing after another after another hits us.  We can feel like the waves of the ocean are hitting us so rapidly and hard that we can’t stand. It can feel like we’re drowning in the undertow of the water.  It can be hard to stay afloat at times.  But the Jesus who was in the boat with the disciples is the same Jesus with us.  He cares about every wave that hits us.  He cares about our pain and sorrow as we are hit.  He cares about our disappointments in the number of waves.  He cares about our decisions concerning each wave we face.  The bottom line is…He cares!  He calls us to be still and trust as the waves seem overtake us.  He calls us to peace in the midst of the wave that only He can give.

It’s true Jesus took the waves away for the disciples.  He doesn’t always work that way.  Sometimes He removes the waves but other times we are called to ride those waves until they are no more.  As we ride the waves, Jesus rides them with us.  He holds our hand and wants us to find our rest in His constant presence with us.  We also need to remember that our brothers and sisters in Christ are here to ride the waves with us.  We are all in this together.  We must pray for each another and walk alongside each another at all times in this life.  We are not alone.

Whether it’s a tsunami or one small wave after another we are facing, Jesus and His body are here to help us.  Remember as a Follower of Christ, Jesus is in your boat!  Therefore even in the waves you are safe in His presence.