August 16, 2017
For today’s Stepping Stones, let me take you back to your childhood. No, I am not hypnotizing you. Just remember back to when you were a 5 year old. It’s a dark, eerie night. The wind is blowing and making mysterious noises outside your window. Then booming thunder fills the room! Bright flashes of lightning rip across the sky! You are afraid to leave your bed and are hoping somebody can come to your rescue. Scary thunderstorms frighten little kids because kids are powerless over these overwhelmingly and intense storms.
Next, your parents come down the hall, and one of two scenarios will play out. If the child has been obedient, respectful, and submissive to his parents’ authority and power over everyday activities, the child will be confident that his parents have the power and authority to protect him from the storm. The parents’ words and actions will soothe and he’ll feel comforted and safe in his parent’s loving, protective, all-powerful arms.
On the other hand, if the child has disrespected, rebelled against, and overthrown the parents‘ power and authority, calling the shots regarding privileges and discipline, then the child won’t be confident in his parents’ abilities to protect him from the storm. Even though the parents come through the door to save him, he’ll still be scared and anxious. The child will think, I have more power than you do and if I can’t stop the storm, you certainly can’t overpower the storm either. So, go back and bring someone more powerful who can protect me from this storm.
In Mark 4, Jesus and the disciples (some of them experienced fishermen) were hanging out in a boat at sea. A powerful storm hit, so great that even these seasoned fisherman were frightened for their lives. They woke up Jesus and accused Him of not caring whether they died. Jesus exerted His power and authority over everything … and calmed the storm.
The disciples had put their confidence in themselves and their own knowledge, not in Jesus and His character, skills, teachings, and promises. They ranked their own power above that of Jesus! What would you have done in this Bible story? Would you have gone to Jesus?
Think about the storms in your life. Do you really trust God’s power? Are you respectful, obedient, and submissive to His authority in all areas of your life? If so, your confidence will come from and be in Him and in what He brings to the table. You will have bold confidence, assurance, hope, and peace in the storms of your life. Don’t wait for the storms before you begin trusting Him … not because He won’t help you. He will help. The problem is that you won’t believe it because you have been ignoring Him in non-stormy times, overthrowing Him just like the rebellious 5-year-old we talked about, putting trust and confidence only in yourself. Trusting in your own power is so limited compared to trusting in God’s omnipotence.
Throughout today’s events, examine the source of your confidence. Is it from elements that are about you … or from Him? Begin to trust Him in all things, especially the little events of the day. Get your confidence from Him. Then it will be easy and natural to trust Him during life’s stormy times and your ability to navigate those storms will be truly miraculous. We help people navigate life’s storms, and if you or a loved one needs acute help, call our Helpline 844-Life-Change (844-Life-Change) and let us guide you to treatment and out of the storm. Whether you look to God as THE source of saving power, or you believe it can come from you or the world is your decision, so choose well.
Father, I come to rest in Your loving presence. I know this day and the days before me will bring difficulties. It is my human way to navigate them on my own. Please remind me that You are with me … that I am not alone in the midst of this storm. I pray that You will send Your peace, which passes all understanding to all those praying and growing with the Stepping Stones Devotionals. Lord, strengthen and prepare all of us for this day … transform our fears and anxieties into confident trust in you, our Lord and God. I pray this in the name our source of confidence, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
… and he rose and rebuked the wind and said unto the sea; “Peace, be still” and the wind ceased and there was a great calm.
my enemies trample on me all day long, for many attack me proudly. When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?
Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”