The Upper Room Devotion for Monday, May 29, 2023, was written by Mike C. Bertoglio
23 “Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. 24 Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” 26 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. 27 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”
Matthew 8:23-27 NIV
As we began our cross-country trip, the pilot came on the intercom and announced, “We are expecting some turbulence at the start of our trip, so we would like you to keep your seat belts fastened. It should last only about ten minutes.” He then continued, “We may get some more turbulence about hallway into our flight, and we are expecting thunderstorms in the afternoon near our destination.” The seat belt sign came on shortly after takeoff and remained on. I imagined all kinds of terrible situations, including the plane’s breaking apart in severe turbulence!
For worriers like me this is often the case – our imagination takes over. But at some point, in the journey, I recalled the story of Jesus and the disciples in the boat in the midst of a storm. Jesus calmed the wind and the waves – and the hearts of the disciples. I imagined Jesus sitting next to me on the plane, saying, “It will be okay. I am here with you.” Then I relaxed. The turbulence was only mild, but what I imagined might happen was much worse. We who sometimes picture disaster can also picture the comforting, calming presence of the Lord. Storms will come, but imagining Jesus with us in those storms can calm our hearts and prepare us for whatever lies ahead.
The weight of worry attempts to keep us focused on worse case scenarios, versus the calming peace of God. We all have faced, are facing, or will face storms in our lives, the question becomes: What will we do when the storms arrive? Mike’s reflection reminds us to turn to Jesus, not simply for rescue, but for the blessed assurance that will sooth our anxious minds. I invite you to take time to examine the ways you cope with worry and to ask Jesus to help you improve.
God who calmed the sea, you promise to be with us, even in rough seas and turbulent times. Be with us now and give us peace, no matter what lies ahead. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
- Mike C. Bertoglio