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

Some of the redeemed had gone out on the ocean in ships, making their living on the high seas. They saw what the Lord had made; they saw his wondrous works in the depths of the sea. God spoke and stirred up a storm that brought the waves up high. The waves went as high as the sky; they crashed down to the depths. The sailors’ courage melted at this terrible situation. They staggered and stumbled around like they were drunk. None of their skill was of any help.

Psalm 107:23-27

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Think

I’m willing to bet that you’re pretty good at something. Maybe math or science is your strong suit. Maybe you’re a talented writer or a gifted athlete. You might be a natural leader or have an exceptional eye for art and design. Maybe your sense of humor is outstanding, or you might be a brilliant coder. Whether you recognize it or not, there’s a very good chance you have some special skills. If you’re fortunate, you might turn those skills into a college major, a fulfilling vocation, or maybe a satisfying, lifelong hobby.

There’s also a very good chance that you will find yourself in plenty of situations where, in spite of your talent and skill, you feel lost. In today’s Psalm the songwriter is recalling a storm so ferocious, even the most accomplished sailor’s catalogue of skills proved useless. I have no idea how to pilot a ship, but I do know what it’s like to think, “None of my skills are of any help here.” Mercifully, God’s grace is enough when our skills can’t help us.

Justin Joplin

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Pray

Thank you, God, for my passions, my intellect, and my skills. Inspire me to use these gifts to help make your dream for the world come true. And help me to trust in your grace when I feel like I’m in over my head. 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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