September 9 Devotional
Opening Prayer: Father, you are full of compassion. I commit and commend myself unto you, in whom I am, and live, and know. Be the Goal of my pilgrimage, and my Rest by the way. Let my soul take refuge from the crowding turmoil of worldly thoughts beneath the shadow of your wings; let my heart, this sea of restless waves, find peace in you, O God. Amen. - St. Augustine
Scripture: Mark 4:35-41
Journal: What about Jesus amazes you? When was the last time he caused you to say Wow? What are the storms in your life right now? How does he offer you peace in the midst of them?
Reflection: The disciples are fighting for their lives, doing everything they can just to stay afloat. But the storm is winning and they are just about to go down. You can hear the fear and doubt in their voices, “Teacher, don’t you care that we are perishing?” For they know that without help from a greater source they are toast.
And just as their desperation reaches its height, Jesus comes to the rescue with a few simple words, “Peace! Be still!” And suddenly the wind stops and there is a great calm. Chaos turns into peace in the blink of an eye. “Why are you so afraid?” Jesus asks with a hint of a smile growing on his lips. And then, as he lies down to continue his nap, “Where’s your faith?”
And the disciples are filled with wonder. “Whoa!” they respond. “What the heck just happened here? Who is this that even controls the winds and the waves?”
Life seems so fragile at times. One minute the sun is shining and all is well with the world. And the next all hell breaks loose—storms, waves, chaos, desperation, pain—and we’re hanging on for dear life, bailing water like crazy just trying to stay afloat. “Where are you Jesus? Are you asleep? Don’t you care?” In these moments it is so easy to forget just who it is that is in our boat, and once again to be reminded that the One who made us—fearfully and wonderfully—and the One who loves us more than we can ever ask or imagine is indeed with us; even if the wind and waves and the fear and the doubt prevent us from being able to see him at the moment. He is the One who is able to give us peace in the midst of our chaos. He is the One with the power to help and to heal. He is the One who is able to utter the words, “Peace! Be still!” Whoa.
Prayer: for the church, for others, for myself
J. and C. are working in a Creative Access country for World Outreach. J. is developing an entry platform using sustainable technologies that will provide income and economic development among the people they are ministering to. Pray today for wisdom as they move forward with this project.
IFES (Middle East) is reaching college students in the Middle East with the gospel through a ministry based in Dubai. Pray today for the leaders of IFES that they may boldly continue their work with the students.
Closing Prayer: I now realize, God, how much You have given me. So much that was beautiful and so much that was hard to bear. Yet whenever I showed myself ready to bear it, the hard was directly transformed into the beautiful. And the beautiful was sometimes much harder to bear, so overpowering did it seem. To think that one small human heart can experience so much, oh God, so much suffering and so much love, I am so grateful to You, God for having chosen my heart, in these times, to experience all the things it has experienced. (An Interrupted Life: The Diaries of Etty Hillesum)