Devotional #1 - 3/17/2020
From Bobby Sherard
Jesus Calms a Storm
 On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.”  And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him.  And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling.  But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”  And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.  He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?”  And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”
I was a senior at Clemson in fall of 2005 when Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast. Clemson Cru sent 3 12-passenger vans of students to Pass Christian, MS to help with the relief efforts. I distinctly remember sleeping 4 to a 3-person tent, not showering for 5 days, and not thinking twice about the conditions we were in. I was in college and I was invincible.
Fast-forward to summer of 2012. Between the stress of ministry, having a new baby at home, buying our first house, and dealing with a life-long struggle with people-pleasing, I found myself unable to get out of bed because of crippling anxiety in the middle of a summer mission in Florida.
I'm not sure which version of myself you can relate to the best during such an unprecedented period. Maybe you're the former story: you're not at all rattled with the endless COVID19 newsreel and you're just excited it's your spring break week.
Maybe you find yourself relating more with the stressed-out-version of myself. Maybe you're like the disciples and asking Jesus, "Do you not care that I am about to graduate? Do you not care about our Spring Break Trip? Do you not see my need for community?" You're not alone and it's normal to feel the uneasiness of the days we are faced with. Social distancing, concern for loved ones who are vulnerable, wondering when you'll be able to go back to "normal"...
If we look at Mark 4:35-41, we see how quickly "normal" changes when the disciples are traveling with Jesus to the other side of the sea. A violent windstorm causes sudden panic. Jesus was sleeping after a day of ministry. His lack of worry and his exhaustion proves as a great reminder that He is fully divine and fully human. When his disciples wake him, fearing for their lives, He simply speaks to the storm and it stops immediately. Imagine the faces of the disciples! Jesus responds with "Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?" Jesus was in control the entire time. He was not shaken or confused. He didn't leave the disciples in the storm because of their fear. He gently and lovingly rebuked their unbelief as simply as He calmed the storm. The same is true today. The cure for fear is faith in Jesus. Whether you are reluctantly just doing your part by washing your hands and obeying orders or perhaps you're severely overwhelmed with the unknown, this season is an opportunity for all of us to trust God in a new way.
As a staff team, we care for you, we are praying for you, and we are excited to think about how God will move in this unique time.