Calm in the Storm

On Sunday, my church family was presented with an assignment for the week, if we were so inclined to accept. As we study and review together who Jesus is, the challenge put forth is to spend the week reading through the book of Mark. This morning, through the reading of chapters 3-5, two passages presented parts of of the nature of who Jesus is, in mighty ways.

 

He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. – (Mark 4:39) This first passage attests to both the power of Jesus, and how He is indeed worthy of our trust. Though the disciples were distressed and afraid in the sudden storm and panicked because Jesus was asleep, the moment they turned to Jesus, He stood, spoke, and all was still. The very same presence that silenced the storm, dwells within the hearts of all who believe. Wind and waves may toss us about, but Christ will keep us from going under. At times, He will calm the chaos around us, but more often, He will silence the storm within so that we are able to see the storm through His eyes, instead of our own.

 

The second passage that struck a chord with me this morning, is the interaction between Jesus and Jairus, the synagogue ruler, when men from his house brought news that his daughter had died. Ignoring what they said, Jesus told the synagogue ruler, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” – (Mark 5:36) Jesus is the God of comfort and compassion, and He does not want us to be afraid. I cannot imagine what must have gone through the mind of Jairus, as Jesus told him to “just believe.” Hope? Resolve? Curiosity? It was likely quite overwhelming and all a bit surreal. First, he knew his daughter was gravely ill. Then, Jairus was brought news that his daughter was dead. Now, standing before him, the Savior spoke hope that he could hold onto. Jesus is still the same today. When all seems hopeless, He is hope. Nothing is impossible for Him. He who set the stars in the sky and hand-crafted each human before their first cries were ever heard, can do immeasurably more than we can fathom.

 

He’s calm in the storm,Calm in the Storm

peace when there is none;

hope in the heartache,

our safe space to run.

He’ll speak to the wind,

and help us believe;

when fear overwhelms,

or our hearts are grieved.

Our Source of comfort,

when chaos, it reigns;

power to defeat,

death by Jesus’ Name.

Do not be afraid,

in Christ, just believe;

all that He offers,

is ours to receive.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that Jesus is powerful and worthy of all of our trust. Thank You too, Jesus, that You are comforting and compassionate. Thank You that You know us and love us, in spite of ourselves. Thank You that there is nothing that we face nor go through that You are not both present and able to walk us through. Forgive us for our fearfulness and lack of faith. Teach us to trust You more, so that we might lean into You all the more, rather than run or try to stand in our own strength in the storms. Lead us to love others in such a way, that they may see Your comfort, compassion and strength through us. May many come into a saving relationship with You, Lord. Be glorified O God, as we trust in Your power to see us through the storms, and receive Your comfort when we are afraid. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

Answer me, O Lord, out of the goodness of Your love; in Your great mercy turn to me. – Psalm 69:16

Prepared for Change

Seemingly, one of the things that we can count on in this life, is change. It is a strange phenomena to feel as if you have found your purpose, spent your time, energy, and heart operating in it, and then discover that the time is coming to a close. What I had imagined would be a long-term plan, was really only a season. My new teaching assignment for the coming school year will impact more students, yet provide less opportunity to get to know them as well. In the new, I will have to trust that He has called me and prepared me for what is yet to come, and operate in confidence as His created for the task that lies ahead.

 

For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. – (Ephesians 2:10)

 

Though I was surprised by the sudden change in assignment for the coming year, God was not. I am His, and He has prepared me for what lies ahead. He has a purpose for placing me in a different role, and I have to trust that His good, will be accomplished.

 

Lord, I am Yours,Prepared for Change

I lay down what’s mine;

to You, I give,

my trust and my time.

Though I can’t see,

the reason for change;

I will embrace,

assignment exchange.

You have prepared,

me for this new task;

so, here am I,

to do as You ask.

Prepare my heart,

for what lies ahead;

show me Your will,

let each step be led.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You created each of us to do good work that You prepared in advance for us. Thank You that change does not surprise You. Thank You that though we may not see it, each step that we take, prepares us for the next. Forgive us for our fearfulness and resistance to change, and help us to embrace each new assignment. May we be effective in all that we do, as we choose to do all things unto You. Let our life demonstrate Your love and faithfulness to all whom we encounter, and may many come to know You, personally, as a result. May we do good works that glorify You, O God. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

He will fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy. – Job 8:21

Supplied by the Spirit

Each of us, whether we are aware of it or not, has an assignment.  God has created and gifted each one of us with something special in mind.  However, we are not born with an instruction manual, nor do we receive a special guide book at our moment of redemption, thus we find ourselves in a space of needing to seek Him to find out what He has planned.

We do have an instruction manual of sorts for our lives, as the Bible shows us how to live in love and trust in Him, among other essential things found in a life formed by faith.  Also, because of Christ’s sacrifice, we are able to call out to God in prayer, any time, and ask whatever we need.  The critical element in helping discover our given assignments, is the gift of the Holy Spirit.  “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” – (Acts 1:8) When we invite Christ into our lives, we invite the Holy Spirit as well.  Just as the early disciples received God’s power to do as He had called them to do, we too, can receive the very same power to do all that He is asking of us.

Three things that the disciples did, that we must still do today, are: to join together with fellow believers, pray together in faith, and wait.  It seems that the first two are the easier of the three to manage.  In this instant gratification society, waiting is a tough sell.  Patience and perseverance are characteristics that seem a rarity, rather than the norm.  The standards that were established all those years ago, still apply today.  All things that are worthwhile take work and waiting.  We are told that the same is true with our walk with Him.  “Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.” – (Romans 5:3-5)

The disciples were told to go and wait after Jesus had ascended into Heaven.  We also, are meant to wait on Him, when we need to know what comes next.  As we are faithful to wait, the blessings discovered by spending time intentionally in His presence, are well worth the investment.  He is faithful to answer as we ask, we simply must press in and persevere, trusting that He hears our every prayer.

Call on the Lord,Supplied by the Spirit

then faithfully wait;

for His answers,

not early nor late.

Patiently pray,

for the Lord is good;

He knows our need,

we are understood.

Allow access,

to both heart and mind;

trust Him to touch,

He is gentle, kind.

God will equip,

us to do each task;

know what He says,

and do as He asks.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You made the way for us to be in a relationship with You, and that the very same power You poured out on the early disciples, is available, ready and dwelling in the hearts of those who believe.  Thank You that You equip us for all that You ask, and that You strengthen and encourage us as we listen and wait on You.  Forgive us for forgetting to slow down, or for growing impatient in the waiting.  Teach us to trust in the wait, and help us to persevere, so that we may hold the holy hope You have for us.  May we live in love as we walk in obedience to all that You ask, and may many come to know You as a result.  Be glorified in all that we say and do.  Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.