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May 7, 2020 Stress and Spiritual Formation - David Vernon

"One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and set out. As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!” He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. “Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples. In fear and amazement, they asked one another, “Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.” Luke 8: 22-25


January 17, 1994 at 4:31am, EARTHQUAKE! I was startled awake by the most violent shaking and deafening sounds I had ever experienced! Adrenaline pumping, PJ and I were on our feet as soon as the shaking stopped. Making my way down the hall, I found both children crouched in the doorway of their rooms. Moments like these give you a little more empathy for the disciples caught in a storm on the boat. Thankfully, though we experienced heavy damage to our home and a great loss of personal property, we were unharmed and uninjured. But I found my soul disquieted—a debris of heaviness that matched the debris inside and outside our home.


It’s no secret that stress squeezes to the surface any anxiety or fear that’s already in us. Sudden stress, like that morning’s surprisingly violent earthquake, is one way. Prolonged stress, like the pandemic we are all living through, is another way. Sometimes under stress we are tempted to return to old habits of thought and action. Jesus always wants better for us—sometimes better than we want for ourselves. He is always present to us, both in the moment to guide us and out of the moment to comfort us.


Prayer: Heavenly Father, through the power of your Holy Spirit send the peace of your Son, Jesus to sustain our hearts during life’s storms.


Question: In what practical ways can we bring a disquieted soul to Jesus in these days of pandemic?


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