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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He got up and gave orders to the wind, and he said to the lake, “Silence! Be still!” The wind settled down and there was a great calm. Jesus asked them, “Why are you frightened? Don’t you have faith yet?”

Overcome with awe, they said to each other, “Who then is this? Even the wind and the sea obey him!”

Mark 4:39-41

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One of my all-time favorite "proverbs" comes from an unlikely source, a boxer who said "Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face." A boxer would know, I guess!

I love this line, not because I plan on ever stepping into the boxing ring, but because I think it’s actually an important bit of wisdom we can apply – metaphorically – to our lives. It’s easy to stick with a plan when everything is going well – when the sailing is smooth, to borrow a metaphor from today’s scripture reading. But our best plans don’t always hold up when we’re tossed into crisis mode.

“Gale force winds arose,” this story begins. Consider that the punch in the face that let the disciples know their plans for the journey weren’t going to be enough to get them safely across the lake. They discovered, when their plans weren’t enough, that sticking close to Jesus was what really mattered.

Justin Joplin

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In those places where my plans become useless, God, help me to rely on you. I can’t weather the stormy parts of my life on my own. I need you. Amen.

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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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