I spoke at a women's retreat over the weekend and today I'm tired. Like, T-I-R-E-D! I spoke five times to this attentive and sweet and hilarious group of women - all of which I'm sure I could learn FAR more from than I could ever teach TO them. I spoke to them about their story. Advising them to tell their story. Helping them to shape their story. And reminding them that FEAR is the enemy of their story. And today I woke up feeling all afraid on the inside. Ugh.
I learned from God's Word as the Spirit taught it to me and through me. I taught that suffering is the way through to glory. Some new great opportunity for growth and joy awaits each of us, but it seems that with it comes an obstacle to overcome. Growth comes through overcoming. I’m reading “Jesus Calling” and today’s first line, in ALL capital letters, screams at my restless soul, “DO NOT BE AFRAID”. Easier said than done. That hits me hard today. Today that feels as improbable as saying to my brunette head of hair, “BE PLATINUM BLONDE”. Not gonna happen.
The writer of this great devo continues to annoy my flesh with these words, “Hear Me saying Peace, be still to your restless heart.”
Peace sounds like a something unfamiliar today. But ‘restless heart’? Oh yes, now that one I know!
So I begin to pray because my heart won’t calm down. I open my Bible to the passage of scripture that this command from Jesus came from: Mark 4:35-41.
Jesus and His disciples are getting in a boat, escaping the crowds, and heading for the next place they are to help, heal, do the impossible. And so Jesus lays down to sleep, because pouring out your gifts to people is exhilarating and exhausting. As Jesus slept, a storm came up...scripture says, “a furious squall came up”. Oh you dang ‘furious squall’, I know you; I know you all too well. So the disciples totally freak out and wake Jesus to calm the storm. Mark tells us that Jesus got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!”
It calmed down. Completely calm.
And then Jesus turned to deal with the scaredy-cat disciples. He asked them, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
But the verse that stings my heart and soul today is early in this passage when Jesus and the disciples were getting into the boat. Before the storm hit. Before the fear came upon them. In verse 35, in red-Jesus-letters, it says, “Let us go over to the other side.”
There’s restlessness in my soul today. A battle raging. And Jesus beckons me to get on the other side of this thing. We don’t know if the disciples could see the clouds circling and building before they got into the boat. Did they see the sky turning grey? Could they see the impending darkness threatening? Could they see small white caps covering rocky waves? We don’t know. But we know our own hearts. We can see when the sky is turning grey in our mind, our mood. We can sense an internal fight for joy. We know the motion-sickness of the rocky waves of emotion or insecurity or fear or depression.
But Jesus offers me/you this: Let us go over to the other side.
I don’t have to go alone.
He said, “Let us go...”
I’m not taking His hand today. I’m full-on running and jumping into His embrace and letting Him carry me to the other side as He says to my racing heart, mind, soul, “Quiet! Be still!”
I’m going to trust Him to get me to the other side of this thing that threatens my faith.
And every single time I feel fear creeping, I’m going to punch fear with God’s Word, “Quiet! Be still! Jesus said I have nothing to fear and I believe Him over anything I feel.”
Praying that we get to the other side of our obstacle today.
And when you get to the other side, keep going!