Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Go to Christ First!

Encouragement for your daily walk with God 

You have to use your imagination to put yourself in their position and see their condition. They were tired and grumpy, and hot and hungry. There were no Starbucks around to get a quick fix of caffeine. There were no convenience stores to pick up an energy drink. Not one physical therapist was close by to message their tired and strained muscles. And now, after another long day of ministry, they found themselves in the middle of the night rowing against a monstrous storm. Who am I speaking about? The disciples and Jesus. 

It had been many days of ministry with Jesus. Neither He nor His disciples had had a break, and they were exhausted. They had been preaching, teaching, and tending to crowds of people, as well as taking care of the elderly and children. 

After another long day, they got on a boat for a short get-away—a little R&R. That evening, while rowing to their destination, a storm threatened to capsize them, so they fought desperately to stay afloat. It was pitch black - no lights on their boat, no lights from the nearby shoreline to illuminate them; even the heavens refused them light. It was a losing battle and they were at the end of their rope. They didn’t even get help from Jesus because, in exhaustion, He had gone below to take a nap and was sound asleep. 

Finally in a moment of desperation, the disciples awakened Jesus from His sleep. “Wake up, Jesus! The boat is taking on water and we’re about to go under!” [my loose translation of Luke 8:24]. Jesus woke up and went into action, rebuking the wind and waves. The storm didn’t passively die down. No! It came to a screeching halt! 

There is a lesson for every Christ follower here.  Life and ministry can be exhausting at times. We try to balance so many things; family, work, church, ministry, leisure, and more. And we become weary and exhausted, much like the disciples. And then, out of no where, calamity strikes! A storm of life threatens to take us under. And like the disciples, we labor desperately to stay afloat. We work at it and worry ourselves sick until, in a moment of desperation, we call out to Jesus. 

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: Go to Jesus first! Go to Him in prayer. Go to Him in Scripture. Why go to Jesus first? Because He created and rules the universe, and He is willing to help. 

But He said to them, “Where is your faith?” And they were afraid, and marveled, saying to one another, “Who can this be? For He commands even the winds and water, and they obey Him!” Luke 8:25

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