Due to the socio-political crisis in Nicaragua I am “supreme commuting this year,” living in Nicaragua for two months then returning to my family in the States for two weeks. My body has definitely acclimatized to the tropics, so much so that 70 degrees makes me shiver. The winter storm that greeted my arrival in Iowa this past weekend was thusly a definite doozy! I was supposed to preach at a church several hours away on Sunday, and while we made it there church was canceled. We ended up getting stuck there for an extra day, and even with waiting a day the drive home was incredibly anxious. It took twice as long as normal, we counted over 20 cars in the ditches, and my nerves were in knots by the time we arrived home. I certainly don’t miss these crazy Iowa winter storms.
I can’t imagine that there are many, if any, people that live without worry and anxiety. They are simply a part of our human existence. The problem is that worry and anxiety can keep us from living the life God has called us to live. In fact, worry is probably the #1 reason I hear people give for not serving God. “I would do that, but I worry I’d do poorly” or “I’d love to donate more, but I’m worried about how that would affect my bank account.” Think about this in your own life: how often does worry stop you from serving God and others?
There is a famous scripture where Jesus and his disciples trying to cross the Sea of Galilee. Jesus told his disciples that they were going to cross the sea together, then went inside to sleep during the journey. The small vessel encountered an enormous storm, which greatly worried the disciples. As they nervously tried to hold the ship together they were dismayed that Jesus, who had told them to cross the sea in the first place, was sleeping through it all. They even accused Jesus of not caring about their predicament. Upon waking up Jesus simply said “peace, be still!” and the storm ceased. He then admonished the disciples for their lack of faith in him.
Jesus told his disciples he would take them to the other shore, and he had no intent on reneging on that promise. Jesus has made us some huge promises in our life. He has promised to be with us, to love us through all things, and to give us eternal life in a perfect heaven. No matter what difficulties and storms we encounter in life those promises remain firm. Look friends, I totally understand that there is A LOT to be nervous about in our world today. But, I also know that there is not a single storm that can expel Christ’s presence, love, and salvation from our lives. In our moments of worry, nerves, and anxiety lets take a moment to remember that Jesus’ presence, love, and salvation will always be with us, and that they are much greater than any difficulty we can encounter.