Daily Devotion – August 30, 2016

Luke 8: 22-25

Jesus Calms a Storm

One day He got into a boat with his disciples, and He said to them, ‘Let us go across to the other side of the lake.’ So they put out, and while they were sailing He fell asleep. A gale swept down on the lake, and the boat was filling with water, and they were in danger. They went to Him and woke him up, shouting, ‘Master, Master, we are perishing!’ And He woke up and rebuked the wind and the raging waves; they ceased, and there was a calm. He said to them, ‘Where is your faith?’ They were afraid and amazed, and said to one another, ‘Who then is this, that he commands even the winds and the water, and they obey Him?’


Reflection by Monty Wyne

I recall a time when I was 10 or 11. My family had a cottage way up in Northern Michigan, not far from the Straits of Mackinaw. It sat on a commanding wooded ridge that overlooked Lake Charlevoix. A beautiful inland lake that had 56 miles of the most extraordinary natural shoreline you’d ever seen. It was a summer afternoon and my dad and I were fishing on the far side of the lake in a small boat and we’re a good distance from the shore and the cottage.

It was warm. We hadn’t had much luck and were heading for Hemmingway’s Point. It was a rocky shoal that jutted out into the lake and harbored several indigenous pines and some good-sized bass. As we crossed the lake, I turned to look at my dad who was driving the boat. The expression on his face told me he was worried. Then he nodded upward toward the sky. As I looked up, big black clouds loomed overhead and the winds were beginning to pick up. A storm was coming in and it was coming in fast.

Here we were in a 12-foot aluminum skiff with a 10-horse outboard, a raging thunderstorm, and the waves were quickly growing in size and force. Every time another wave came our way the boat would rise up and then sink into the trough below and all I could see was a wall of water above us. Dad was concerned about capsizing, leaving our fate to the roiling waters. He asked me to move to the middle seat so we could get the bow up in the air and better tackle the waves that were tossing us about like a kite in the wind. My heart was pounding. My mind racing. Would we make it to shore? Would we be safe? Or would the storm and turbulent water overtake us?

Looking back, I don’t remember praying. Dad’s hands were full just trying to get us to safety. If he was praying, it was a silent prayer for I am sure he didn’t want to alarm me. He wanted to reassure me and strengthen my confidence in his ability to get us to dry land. I am sure the disciples felt much the same way. They too, were fearful of falling prey to the storm and the water. But Jesus was their pilot, their strength, and their reassurance. As He said to them, “Where is your faith?” They sat in amazement and wonder. “Who is this that commands the winds and the water,” they asked.

Today, I ask “Who was it that commanded the winds and the water for us?” Was it Jesus? Was His hand on the tiller of our motor, steering us to safety? Was He there with Dad and me holding back the wind, steadying our boat, and asking, “Where’s your faith?” I’m sure He was a commanding presence that day. How many times and how many challenging situations since that time have I asked myself, “Where’s your faith?” Not enough. How about you?



Dear God,

Remind us of the strength and everlasting faith of your son, Jesus. Without faith, without belief, we become vulnerable to the turbulent waters that threaten our complex world.      Amen

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