Summary: Do you worry? Of course you do! Do you want to stop worrying? Of course you do! Here’s how!
Scripture Reading: Mark 4:35-41
On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him. A great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”
How many of you worry? I’m guessing pretty much everybody. And why not? There is plenty to worry about, right? Unfaithful spouses. Errant children. Angry bosses. Declining health. Depreciating assets. Mounting debts. Oh, and of course earthquakes and typhoons and the tiger that has just escaped from the zoo! What can one do but worry? Right? Wrong! Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27).
The peace Jesus does not come from the absence of storms. As long as we walk upon this earth, there will be storms that come our way. The peace comes from the knowledge that Jesus is with us in the storm! If he wills it, he will take us through it unscathed. If he doesn’t, he won’t, but he will still be by our side. This is not fatalism as some might suggest; this is faith in God. One, that God is in control of every situation. As Moses told Joshua, “It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed” (Deuteronomy 31:8). And two, as Paul declared, believing “that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).
We find a very dramatic illustration of such faith in the Old Testament. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were three friends of Daniel. (You remember Daniel, the guy tossed into the lion’s den?). Anyway, one day the ruler had a huge golden statue erected and ordered that everybody in the kingdom bow before it. Our three heroes refused to bow to anything other than God. Nebuchadnezzar threatened to throw them into a furnace of blazing fire. The three men answered, “If our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire and out of your hand, O king, let him deliver us. But if not, it’s fine; we’re not going to worship a golden statue” (Daniel 3:17-18)
Let me end with a modern-day parable. Several people were making a journey in a train one day when a massive storm hit. It was worse than the one in today’s story. Lightning flashed. Thunder roared. Strong gusts of wind made the train rock on its tracks. The passengers were expectedly terrified. Well, all except a little girl who had her head buried in her storybook. She’d look up once in a way when there was an exceptionally bright flash of lightning but otherwise seemed unperturbed. Finally, one of the passengers asked her, “How come you aren’t afraid, child?” The little girl’s smile was a bright as the lightening around her. “Oh,” she said, “My father is the train driver.”
Well, our father is God! So, Hakuna Matata!
Today's devotional — Hakuna Matata — is based on Mark 4:35-41, the gospel reading for the day. The reflection is by Aneel Aranha, founder of Holy Spirit Interactive (HSI). Follow him on Facebook: fb.com/aneelaranha