In the Storm – Devotional Series
“Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord you God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:8-9 (NIV)
There is no question that we have been in the midst of crisis . . . multiple crises, in fact. Illness, bleak financial reports, political unrest, protests, and riots.
Anger is the choice of many. Anger at politicians. Anger at the Corona Virus. Anger at God. We become bitter and sour toward this world; toward one another.
Fear is another option. Lock the doors and close the windows. Avoid every shadow; everyone and everything.
Do we want to be a nation of fear and anger? But what can we do about any of it?
The best-known storm-story in the Bible is helpful to me . . . provides me courage . . . and peace.
“When evening came, [Jesus’] disciples went down to the lake, where they got into a boat and set off across the lake for Capernaum. By now it was dark, and Jesus had not yet joined them. A strong wind was blowing, and the waters grew rough (John 6:16-18).
The hearts of those disciples began to sink, just as it seemed their boat was going to do. They were in the middle of the worst crisis a fisherman knows. A storm that they could not control; and they felt all alone in the midst of it.
But then the unimaginable happened. “They saw Jesus approaching the boat, walking on the water; and they were frightened. But He said to them, ‘It is I; don’t be afraid’” (John 6:19- 20).
The literal translation of what Jesus said is “I AM; don’t be afraid.”
I AM is God’s name. Ever since Moses saw the burning bush that refused to burn up, God has called himself, “I AM” (Exodus 3:14). This is the title of steadiness and power. Courage and confidence.
When we wonder if God is coming, he answers with his name: “I AM!” When we wonder if he is able, he declares, “I AM.” When we see nothing but darkness, feel nothing but doubt, and wonder if God is near or aware, the welcome answer from Jesus is this: “I AM!”
Exhausted from the crises all around you? Invite God to tell you his name.
Our greatest need is his presence.
Yes, we want this storm to pass. Yes, we want the winds to still. But yes, yes, yes, we want to know, need to know, and must know that the great I AM is coming.
Did you know that the most frequent command in the Bible is . . . Do NOT be Afraid!? There is a reason for this. Do not let the storm(s) infuriate you; paralyze you; depress you; turn you inward. Let the storm turn you upward.
Listen to Christ saying to you: “Do not be afraid! I AM with you in the storm.”
written by Major Martha Bone, Social Ministries Secretary, USA East