A student whose mom has been diagnosed with a brain tumor and is waiting to find out if the tumor is malignant.
A friend who has early onset Alzheimer’s.
A mom of five children who has stage 4 cancer.
A woman with substance abuse who has yet to recognize she desperately needs help.
Shootings and terror attacks around the world.
Refugees. Disputes about government and division in our country. Poverty. War.
Check your Facebook newsfeed, visit a news website or lesson to a newscast, and be present for your friends and coworkers. Just a few minutes doing any one of these things and you can create a list like the one above. The only problem is that this list could go on and on.
Both those right next door and those around the world are hurting. Struggling to persevere in the midst of what likely feel like impossible circumstances. There is sadness. Frustration. Anger. Fear.
Perhaps you find yourself in the same boat. Overcome by current circumstances. Fears about finances or health concerns or struggles with a relationship. It sometimes feels as though a tidal wave of “bad” news is going to completely overtake us.
How do we keep moving forward when it feels like our steps are slowed and practically stopped due to all the difficult circumstances swirling around us and those we love?
Remember that you aren’t in this storm alone. Jesus is present. Are you like one of the disciples in the boat? The wind starts to blow. The rain starts to pour. And suddenly the waves are crashing into the boat and over the side. Panic sets in. The disciples are afraid. “We’re going to die in this storm and Jesus is sleeping!”
Are you fearful because of life’s current circumstances? Does it feel like the storm is going to overtake you? Are you wondering where Jesus is in the midst of your life’s storm? Where did the disciples find Him during the storm? Asleep. Certainly not bothered in the least by the storm raging around the boat. And when the disciples woke Him in a panic, begging Jesus to save them from drowning, what did Jesus say? “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” (Matthew 8:26 NIV).
Your little life boat may be rocking in every direction from the storms in your life. Waves may be pounding against the sides of your craft and crashing over the rails. You may be fearing for your life. Frightened of what is going to happen. Yet Jesus is present. And asking you, “Why are you so afraid?”
In Isaiah 43:2–3, we read,
“When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord your God.”
You are not alone. Christ is present with you. Do not be afraid of the storms in your life. Rest in Christ. The circumstances may be difficult. But you don’t have to face them alone.
Keep in mind that your students are facing storms of their own. They need to have an example of how to face these storms with faith and trust that God is with them, knows their circumstances, and is present with them in every moment of their lives. They need to be reminded to trust. And to have hope. For even if the storms in our lives don’t resolve as we might hope they would, we can know without a doubt that God loves us and will never leave us.
Kym Mitchell is the design editor and team leader for the Student Resource Team.
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