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Devotional Thought: When the Unexpected Happens

We all know the value of making plans and submitting them to the Lord. Proverbs teaches us: 
Proverbs 16:3 (NIV) “Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.”  We make our plans, commit them to the Lord, and move forward by faith. Then the unexpected happens.

The disciples experienced the unexpected. Mark shares the story in (Mk 4:35–41 NIV):
“That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There  were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”

Let’s walk through the passage together:

  • Jesus has a plan. “Let’s go to the other side.” The disciples obeyed and began the journey along​ with others.
  • The unexpected occurs - The storm suddenly appears. While not unusual, it was not expected.
  • The reaction of the disciples: The disciples are overcome with fear. This is natural in a storm, but instead of calling out to God for help, they accuse Jesus of “not caring.” Satan loves to whisper in our ear, “If God really loved you, this would not have happened!”
  • Jesus responds with rescue and rebuke: Jesus speaks and the storm ceases. They are rescued. Why? Because truly Jesus does care! Jesus asks them, “Do you still have no faith?” Jesus is not rebuking them for being afraid but for not facing their fear with faith. Fear and doubt cry out, “God don’t you care?” Faith declares, “I will cry out to God who is my helper and shield… He will help me!
  • The response of the disciples: They are in awe! Who is this? He speaks, and nature obeys His commands.

Life Application: Do you see Jesus as the One who speaks and calms the unexpected storms of life? We do not like storms; we prefer calm waters. Why does God allow storms? Because we live in a world where storms happen both in nature and life. They do not catch God by surprise. He is ready and able to bring peace to our stormy situations. God does not promise that we will never be in a storm. He does promise that He will be with us in the storm.

Our Prayer for Today: Lord, when the storms of life come my way, help me to respond in faith, knowing you are with me. You will, at just the right time say, “Peace be still.” And I will remain in your peace that passes all understanding.

James R. Russom, DMin.
Director of Pastoral Ministries

Filed Under: Blog Published: 08/21/2018

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