Wednesday, October 2, 2013

A talk with Annie Verzwyvelt on Facing the Truth

Who do you rely on when you are afraid?

Facing the Truth

Mark 4:37 - 41 A great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, "Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?" He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the seas, "Peace! Be still!" Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. He said to them, "Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?" And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, "Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?"

Why is it so hard to MAKE IT SIMPLE? We face daily a complex world of our own making. We feel pushed and pulled by forces beyond our control. And when things feel like they are out of control, we often feel afraid. We become like the disciples in the boat with Jesus. We are afraid that we are perishing, tossed about by the "wind and the waves" in our lives.

Imagine being one of the disciples in the boat. When you decide to wake Jesus up, what would you expect of him? What do you need from Jesus in the midst of the storms of your life? Can you hear Jesus' question in the calm in your life? "Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?"

Jesus' question can lead us to hear the words of the psalmist found in Psalm 51:10-12:
Create in me a clean heart, O God and put a new and right spirit within me. Do not cast me away from your presence, and do not take your holy spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain in me a willing spirit.

Look at all that God does in our lives. Where do we focus? On the wind and waves? Can we focus instead on what God provides? And how do our choices matter or what we see?

Excerpts from ELCA, "Make it Simple" series

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