Sitting Calmly in the Back of the Boat

Sometimes just breathing can be hard work. Do you ever feel that way?

I'd describe life for me lately as "rainy season". Worries and struggles have been raining down and flash flooding has snuck up on me. The enemy has been busy pelting me with his lies. Honestly, his efforts to distract, discourage and derail have been pretty effective. I've found myself just that - distracted, discouraged and derailed. Sometimes just breathing can be hard work . . . but it's not because God isn't here with me. He hasn't lost control of me or my life. He's waiting for me to trust him so he can show me more about who he is. 

I've been teaching a series of lessons to my 2nd grade class in Newton Weekday Bible School on the miracles of Jesus - how God showed us his power and glory through Jesus. Last week I demonstrated to the class, rather animatedly, how the disciples panicked when a raging storm hit their boat as they crossed the Sea of Galilee (Mark 4). Thunder boomed loudly, huge waves crashed over them, the boat rocked wildly and began to take on water. While the disciples despaired for their lives, Jesus slept calmly in the back of the boat. They must have thought he was crazy! Didn't he care that they were going to drown?! But then, he stood and with only his voice commanded the storm to be quiet, and it obeyed. 

My class sat in awe of my dramatic demonstration (ha!), but I was struck with the realization that I've been reacting much like the disciples. I've been feeling frenzied and frightened, grasping at ineffectual means and methods to help me control my boat in a sea of crazy. But God hasn't been worrying. He knew the storm was coming. He's been waiting for me to trust him. He has power, even just in the sound of his voice, to calm this crazy. Instead of panicking or despairing, I want to make my way to the back of the boat, sit down next to Jesus and let his nearness calm me until he decides to calm the storm. The storm will surely obey him! 

If you're distracted, discouraged, derailed or despairing will you join me there in the back of the boat? Let's stick close to the One whose power and love are unmatched. Our hope in him can hold us steady until he calms the storm. Isaiah 43:2, "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you."

On a lighter note, I want to express gratitude to the Lord for drawing kids to himself! We can't celebrate enough that we've had at least eight GCC children (that we know of) come to accept Christ as their Savior in the last 4 months. We're blessed to see him at work in and through our families and ministries for kids! We want to be more intentional about celebrating these decisions, so please be sure to share with me or one of the pastors if you or your child makes a first time decision for Christ or a recommitment. Be praying that God will do this changing work in the hearts of kids through Neighborhood Summer Quest, coming June 4-7. Be watching for ways to be involved in the coming weeks!

In HIS power,

Juli Dirks
Children’s Ministry Director