Daily Devotion for February 5, 2021

Living Through the Storm

Jesus said to them, “Where is your faith?”  They were afraid and amazed, and said to one another, “Who then is this, that he commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him?”            (Luke 8:25)
            This story of Jesus calming the storm is so much more than, did Jesus really still a storm on the Sea of Galilee so long ago? The issue is, can the God who delivers people from forces beyond their control still act to deliver those who call on the Lord in desperate circumstances today?  I believe the answer to that is yes.
            I have experienced it in my life.  When challenges that have felt too great and threatened to overwhelm me have arisen, when I have been tempted to give up, whether it be moments during this pandemic, or living through an unexpected divorce, or living through being asked to leave a church, or living through the death of my daughter, or living through discovering that people don’t like me.  In all of these challenges, when I have had inner turmoil, and I have turned to God, I have discovered that God is there to hold my hand and to take me through each challenge one step at a time. Every time!
            There was once a man who underwent open-heart surgery.  The day before the surgery an attractive nurse came into his room to visit.  She took hold of his hand and told him to feel it and hold it.  He said, “I thought it was a great idea!”
            “Now,” she said, “during the surgery tomorrow you will be disconnected from your heart and you will be kept alive only by the virtue of certain machines.  And when your heart is finally restored and the operation is over and you are recovering, you will eventually awaken in a special recovery room.  But you will be immobile for as long as six hours.  You may be unable to move, or speak, or even to open your eyes, but you will be perfectly conscious and you will hear and you will know everything that is going on around you.  During those six hours I will be at your side and I will hold your hand, exactly as I am doing now.  I will stay with you until you are fully recovered.  Although you may feel absolutely helpless, when you feel my hand you will know that I will not leave you.”
            And the man who had surgery later said, “It happened exactly as the nurse said.  I awoke, and could do nothing.  And at first I was afraid, but then, as I remembered the nurse’s words and as I felt the nurse’s hand in my hand for hours.  That, made all the difference!” 
            God wants us to place our hand in God’s.  God wants us to place our life in God’s hands, to carry us through the tough challenging times in which we live.  Then, when we have experienced God’s healing in our darkest time, we will be able to go out and celebrate and announce to others what God has done for us.
         I invite you on this day to place your life in God’s hands.  Turn to God, experience God’s healing and God’s goodness.  And share that goodness with all you meet.
            Gracious God, thank you for coming to us in these challenging times.  Help us to remember the ways in our past where you have been there for us.  Help us to remember that even if this day feels tough, you are here to be with us and to carry us beyond the circumstances that often feel beyond our control.  Help us to let your Spirit live in us and move through us to touch this world.  In the hope Jesus offers us, Amen.