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The Upper Room devotional reflection for Friday, October 14, 2022, comes to us from Jim Machuku of Manzini, Eswatini.

35 On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, "Let us go across to the other side." 36 And leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him. 37 A great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. 38 But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, "Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?" 39 He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, "Peace! Be still!" Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. 40 He said to them, "Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?" 41 And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, "Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?"

Mark 4:35-41NRSV



In the summer of 2016, a storm came through our area and left a trail of devastation. Our family house was not spared – the roof was extensively damaged and required significant repair. It was a difficult time for many in our community. The force of the storm’s impact left us all in a somber mood for quite a while.

For many of us the walls and roof of our homes give us a sense of security and peace from the weather conditions. While God has not promised us an easy life, God has promised to be our shelter in challenging times. When disciples were caught in a storm on the sea, they were indeed fearful; but they found peace because Jesus was there with them. God will surely be here to shelter us as well, leading us through the storms of our lives. We who trust in God are never alone. God has us covered!



The devastation from hurricane Ian is still being tallied. News stations continue to show us harrowing images of entire communities demolished by wind and waves. The accompanying storm surge flooding has exasperated the challenge of reaching families trapped inside their homes. Thousands of people and dollars are pouring into the hardest hit cities, in an effort to provide some comfort to those who have lost everything. Jim’s reflection strikes a chord when what was once a safe haven becomes a reminder of loss. Jim’s reflection offers us insight on how to navigate our somber seasons: “God has not promised us an easy life. God has promised to be our shelter in challenging times.” May each of us find peace, comfort and assurance within the shelter of God’s presence.

--Pastor Anthony


Dear God, thank you for covering our lives with your peace and for providing light for us in our darkness. As Jesus taught us, we pray, “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. The kingdom come. They will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil” (Luke 1:2-4 KJV). Amen.

-- Jim Machuku

Prayer Focus:

People rebuilding after a storm.

Thought for the day:

In the visible storm, I will trust the invisible God.

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