Pause

When faced with rough waters and stormy winds we ask:

Will I make it? Will God carry me through the storm? Is God enough?

A 4th century martyr, Severus of Thrace, wrote:

“To all who are tossed by the waves, Lord, you are the calm of the harbor; you are the hope of the hopeful.”

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Listen

Later that day, when evening came, Jesus said to them, “Let’s cross over to the other side of the lake.” They left the crowd and took him in the boat just as he was. Other boats followed along.

Gale-force winds arose, and waves crashed against the boat so that the boat was swamped. But Jesus was in the rear of the boat, sleeping on a pillow. They woke him up and said, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re drowning?”

Mark 4:35-38

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Think

“Do you have your gloves? How about your helmet? Both elbow pads? Practice jersey? Skates? Both pairs of socks? Water bottle? Don’t forget your stick!”

My sons and I have discovered that one of the most important lessons for being a hockey player is packing the equipment bag. There’s nothing worse than rushing out to practice after school, only to arrive at the rink and find you left your right shin pad at home. It’s usually the case that not packing the proper gear means sitting out. Whether you’re going away to hockey practice, a sleepover with a friend, a week at Passport camp, or a two-week vacation, packing just enough of what you need is an art.

I wonder what kinds of gear Jesus’ disciples packed for their boat journey across the lake. The story doesn’t give us those details, but it is pointed out that they took Jesus in the boat with them. I wonder if they understood their success and safety depended not on what was in their boat but on who was in their boat?

Justin Joplin

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Pray

O God, in this journey of life and faith, give me the wisdom to pack just enough. Help me to remember that you are with me wherever I go. Keep me mindful of your nearness. Amen.

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Go

As you go, carry this conviction deep in your heart: Through calm and chaos, God’s faithful love is enough to sustain you.

Justin Joplin

Justin Joplin serves as pastor of Lorne Park Baptist Church in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. Originally from western North Carolina, Justin and his wife Kristy enjoy living as immigrants in an area renowned for its diversity and inclusivity. Justin and Kristy have two sons, J.R. and Reuben.

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