Disturbances

In the atmosphere they are called storms.
In the city they are called riots. Disturbances in the home are called domestic. In the night when dreams disturb us, these dreams are called nightmares.

A disturbance could be defined as a frightening break in the routine.

  • Peace was expected but violence erupted.
  • Quiet was the forecast but noise drove silence away.
  • Confidence in what tomorrow may hold, is shaken by an unexpected turn of events today.

Worry, sleeplessness, tension in the limbs, knots in the neck and pain at the top of the head—all are the resulting disturbances. Sleep, if it comes at all, is shallow and without rest.

No one is immune to these disturbances.
No amount of careful planning can prepare for all eventualities. Any routinely dependable person can experience his/her own life disturbances that in turn create disruptions for us. Life’s disturbances don’t come to us single file. They tend to appear in bunches, piling on us like a sudden and sustained hailstorm. Each single pellet of ice makes a mark negligible in itself but amounting to serious pain in total.

“That’s life!” Someone said (and Sinatra sang!)

Yes, that is life.

Why do disturbances disturb us so?

I believe that deep within each of us is a strong desire for order.
Even those who may not consciously plan each day, do not expect disturbances. They expect their cars to run on inflated tires, their washing machines and dryers to work, and their phones to function—if they remembered to charge them. We expect normalcy. When a new societal disturbance happens often enough in enough places, it becomes the “new normal.” This re-classification does nothing to alleviate the disturbance, it only lowers our expectations a notch or two.

Jesus came to earth to enter this time-bound life that we live. In these days of devotion we think deeply about our Savior and His earthly sojourn.

  • He laid aside omniscience along with His pre-incarnate glory.
  • While He walked among us, he could not see the challenges every tomorrow would bring until the Holy Spirit informed Him.
  • He was tempted in all the ways that we are tempted that must include the temptation to fret, worry, fume, and fear.
  • There is no record that Jesus ever fretted, or worried, or fumed, or feared what might happen next.

The prayer He gave us to pray is rooted in faith not fretting, confidence not worry, peace not fuming, and faith not fear.

Once a violent disturbance struck them all in a boat on the Galilee.
The disciples did all the fretting while Jesus simply turned over, adjusted the cushion He was using for a pillow, and continued to sleep. When His followers woke Him He stretched, yawned, look at the frightened men He had chosen thoroughly drenched from the terrible wind and waves. First He rebuked the storm and then He rebuked them for their lack of faith. At His command the disturbance in the atmosphere grew still and the sea settled down to rest. I’m sure Jesus went back to sleep.

I am not so sure about the Disciples.

Scriptures:
Mark 4:35-41 NIV
That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, I cannot see the day that stretches before me this morning. I don’t know what will happen, but I will not worry because You know every moment to come. Nothing will happen that is outside the realm of Your authority. Just as You saw me through the night You will see me through the day. Even if a sudden storm arises to blow me about a bit, help me remember that You are safely nestled in my boat, resting in Your strength and sovereignty. If there is need, You will calm the winds and still the waves of any storm I may encounter today. Thank You, Jesus.

Song:
A Shelter in the Time of Storm
Words: Vernon Chalresworth; Music: Ira D. Sankey

1. The Lord’s our Rock in Him we hide, A shelter in the time of storm;
Secure whatever ill betide, A shelter in the time of storm.

Refrain:
Oh Jesus is a Rock in a weary land, A weary land, A weary land;
Oh Jesus is a Rock in a weary land, A shelter in the time of storm.

2. A shade by day, defense by night, A shelter in the time of storm;
No fears alarm, no foes affright, A shelter in the time of storm.

Refrain

3. The raging storms may round us beat, A shelter in the time of storm;
We’ll never leave our safe retreat, A shelter in the time of storm.

Refrain

4. O Rock divine, O Refuge dear, A shelter in the time of storm;
Be Thou our helper ever near, A shelter in the time of storm.

Refrain

Semper Reformanda!
Stephen Phifer

© 2017 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved

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