Read: Mark 4:35-41
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.
Jesus Protected with His Mighty Power
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
For people who live where tornadoes or hurricanes happen, they know the drill. You get a warning, and you had better run to the basement or get to an inside wall or leave before the storm hits. That’s because storms are serious.
A storm (the Bible calls it a furious squall) hit while Jesus and his disciples were in a boat on the water. There was no safe building for them to hide in. In a crazy panic, they ran to Jesus, which is always a good idea. But then they yelled at him, which is not a good idea. They yelled, “WE ARE GOING TO DIE AND YOU DON’T EVEN CARE!”
Jesus, who knows how to handle panic better than any parent, got up and told the storm, “Stop it!” And it did.
Then Jesus had a little talk with the disciples. He asked them to really think about what they said (you know, kind of like how your parents might help you to look back at the some of the things you’ve said and think through if they were the best choice of words).
We deal with different kinds of storms in life. Dads and moms deploy for the military. Cousins die from drug overdoses. Parents separate. Classmates get cancer. People can be bullies. Wildfires, tornadoes, mudslides, and hurricanes threaten homes.
It’s easy to be like the disciples. When we get scared, we might think that God isn’t paying attention. We might yell at him, “DON’T YOU CARE?!”
He does care. After all, he’s the God who knit you together exactly the way he wants you to be—while you were still a baby inside your mom. He’s the one who sent Jesus to rescue you from Satan. He’s the God who gives you the Holy Spirit to guide you. He’s the God who calms storms.
This doesn’t mean life is perfect—here on earth. We still live in a sinful world and still have bad things happen. But we can trust that our God does care. And if he doesn’t calm the storm, he can calm our hearts and help us trust in him because he protects us with his mighty power.
Dear God, it’s easy to focus more on the “storms”—the bad things that happen in this world. Help me run to you whenever storms hit, not yelling at you, but knowing that you will use it for my good. Amaze me with your power to make my faith bigger and stronger so that I trust you more and worry less. Amen.
The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.
Questions for Younger Children
- What’s the biggest storm you remember? Recount what made you afraid.
- Stretch out your arms to indicate the power of that storm. Now stretch out your arms to indicate the power of God. Which one is bigger?
Questions for Elementary Age Children
- Talk about two bad things (“storms”) that have happened to you recently. How did God help you during them?
- On a scale of 1 to 5 (with 1 being weakest and 5 being strongest), how big is your faith? How big is your God? How big do you dare to pray?
Questions for Middle School and Above
- What bad thing or “storms” have happened to you? How did God help you during them?
- As a family, name at least one way we can help each other run to God first to calm the storm in our hearts.
Hymn: CW 415:1,2 – Be Still, My Soul
Be still, my soul; the Lord is on your side;
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
Leave to your God to order and provide;
In ev’ry change he faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul; your best, your heav’nly friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.
Be still, my soul; your God will undertake
To guide the future as he has the past.
Your hope, your confidence, let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul; the waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while he lived below.