Jesus and the disciples are in a boat when a storm comes up on the lake. Jesus is sleeping but the disciples wake Him up because they are afraid and they want to be saved. Jesus tells them to have faith and calms the storm down. Jesus also heals two men that are demon possessed and those demons go into a herd of pigs and drown themselves in the lake.
In today's passage, we see Jesus leading the disciples into a storm, then commanding the wind and waves to be still. It reminds me of the praise song "Blessed be Your Name." There is a line in the song that says, "You give and take away." The easy part of that line is the "give." It's the "take away" part that's hard for most, if not, all of us. One of my life's storms would have to be during the 2008 recession. My parents had a very successful restaurant and we were living the most comfortable lifestyle we've ever lived. We could get what we wanted, when we wanted, and didn't think too much about it. Luckily for me, it was post college and I didn't have any student debt because my parents were able to pay for my college education. We were, to say the least, living on the top of the world. This was the "You give..." part.
Then the recession hit, and our business was not doing so well. My parents decided that moving to a different part of the country would help build up our finances again. It was really hard, financially, for the next few years for our family. My parents set up a restaurant down south, but that business ended up not doing well and so they sold the business and came back up to Michigan.
This whole process, the "You... take away" part, I couldn't help but think about why God would do this. That's when this song came up at church. We sang "Blessed be Your Name" at church during a service, and it hit me, God is God and if he wants to give, He'll give, but if He wants to take away, He'll certainly take away. I also reflected on our situation and how we handled it as family. It was during this time, this "take away" time that we all started sharing as a family. My parents shared prayer requests with me, I shared my prayer requests with them, and I felt as family, this was when we were spiritually the strongest. This experience is what makes me so close to my family today and I know that God has His hand of love over us.
Through the storm and through the calm, help us to cling to You all the time. You can give, but You can also take away, and through it all, You are working for our good. Help us to hold onto Your truths. Thank you for all that You provide us and all that is to come. In your name, Amen.