The Upper Room devotional reflection for Tuesday, August 9, 2022 comes to us from Asako Yano of Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan
22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. 25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. "It's a ghost," they said, and cried out in fear. 27 But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid." 28 "Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water." 29 "Come," he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!" 31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?" 32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God." Matthew 14:22-33 NIV
“A Step of Faith”
I have an upcoming medical examination at the hospital that I will be going to alone. Normally, my mother would come with me. So the idea of going by myself fills me with fear and anxiety. There might be something terrifying in the test results, I think. When the results do come, will I be able to receive them calmly? As I prepare to go by myself, I try to remember Bible stories. I remind myself that I have the support of friends who are praying for me. These thoughts strengthen me. In the midst of this ordeal, I am realizing that I need to take a step into the unknown.
When we have something on our minds that we can’t stop worrying about, we may brood about it. My experience has taught me about the power of entrusting worry to Jesus. I’ve heard people say, “If you take one step forward, Jesus will lead you,” That one step is a step of faith. As we take it, we learn that Jesus walks with us and supports us. With Christ, we are never alone.
Many of us has had the kind of experience Asako Yano describes. I know that when I have faced that kind of fear, I have not wanted to go alone. My experiences teach me that a second “set of ears” often “hears” more accurately than the patient. Also, the presence of a trusted companion can reduce the feelings of fear and anxiety significantly.
Even when we are joined by someone who is lovingly supportive, it is important to trust in God’s presence through the Holy Spirit to carry us through these frightening moments and into the future. I invite you to remember and give thanks for God’s presence in the fearful times in your life. Also, I invite you to recall and give thanks for those who have supported you through the challenges in your life.
Dear Jesus, thank you or walking with us in all situations. Give us the courage to step out in faith and meet you. Amen.
Those waiting for Medical Test results
Thought for the Day:
Sometimes it takes a step of faith to meet Jesus.