March 29 Reflections

We continue in the reality of the COVID 19 crisis as we have the first confirmed case in Sioux County and as the virus continues to spread across our country and world. There is a mixture of fear, common sense wisdom, panic, ignorance, denial and I hope in our lives, faith in the living God. I think it is a matter of focus. Where is our attention? Much like the story found in Matthew 14:22-33.                              

My life verse is 1 Corinthians 15:10 and my life story is Matthew 14:22-23. I want to share this with you on Sunday.  Where do I put my focus? Where is my trust?  The storms of life come. It can feel like my life is being buffeted by waves. I can focus there or on Jesus the One who calms the waves and the One who controls them. In the movie “World Trade Center” which is an account of 9-11, two port authority police were trapped inside the rubble. McLoughlin and Jimeno were in the struggle of their lives hoping to just survive. For thirteen hellish hours they were entombed in a narrow void of debris. At one point Jimeno was crying out to Jesus for help. He was ready to simply give up. However, you want to analyze and break it down, Jesus came to him with a bottle of water. He believed it was a sign that it was going to be ok. Jesus had him. Jesus was with him. He simply cried out as Peter did, “Lord, save me.” (Matthew 14:30) Jesus does come in our deepest need to help, sustain and restore.

I believe with all my heart Jesus is alive. I believe Jesus is with me every second. I believe Jesus lives in me. Right this second. This is not a nice idea. It is not a psychological gimmick to make us feel better.  It is not a fairy tale. It is a living reality. Will I trust? Will I keep my eyes focused on him?  It is one of the reasons as I sought to live out this story that the illustration of the chair has become so important to me. Will I rest in Jesus? Or will I squat? Will I focus on the waves or on Jesus? What or whom will I trust? That is what we are going to think about on Sunday. Some passages to read and reflect upon Matthew 14:22-33; Psalm 56; Acts17:24-28; Mark 4:35-41.

Grace upon Grace,

Pastor Verlyn