Crossroads: The Storms of Life

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Mark 4:35-41

My Story

I was always terrified of storms as a child. The thunder scared me the most, and my mom could never convince me that the thunder couldn’t hurt me. One day we were at the beach, swimming in the ocean when a storm came up. I panicked. I started swimming as fast as I could to shore, determined to get out of the ocean before the storm could hurt me. At first I waited for the grownups, my mom and my friend’s mom and dad. But they were moving too slowly for me, so I left them behind and swam as fast as I could. We were all fine, of course. Eventually the storm moved on and we continued with our vacation. But I never forgot how afraid I was of that storm. In that moment I doubted that God would take care of us, that we would be okay.

Your Story

Tell your children about a storm in your life where perhaps you doubted that God would get you through. It can be about an actual storm or a metaphorical storm. What happened? How did God get you through it?

The Bible Story

Read Mark 4:35-41. From the Common English Bible: “Later that day, when evening came, Jesus said to them, “Let’s cross over to the other side of the lake.” They left the crowd and took him in the boat just as he was. Other boats followed along. Gale-force winds arose, and waves crashed against the boat so that the boat was swamped. But Jesus was in the rear of the boat, sleeping on a pillow. They woke him up and said, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re drowning?” He got up and gave orders to the wind, and he said to the lake, “Silence! Be still!” The wind settled down and there was a great calm. Jesus asked them, “Why are you frightened? Don’t you have faith yet?” Overcome with awe, they said to each other, “Who then is this? Even the wind and the sea obey him!”

I love this passage of Scripture because Jesus calms the storm. As someone who has never liked bad weather, I love that Jesus can calm even this great big storm. No matter how big the storm, it still has to obey God. God has the power to calm the storms in our lives. And yet, the disciples doubted. They had been following Jesus, listening to him teach and absorbing who he was. And yet in the midst of the storm they doubted. This passage reminds us that it is okay to doubt, that even those close to Jesus doubted. But it also doesn’t leave us in our doubt for long.

Jesus didn’t wait for the disciples to get over their doubt before he calmed the storm. The disciples were terrified, so Jesus calmed the storm first and then dealt with their doubt. But Jesus doesn’t make fun of them for doubting. Instead, Jesus says “Why are you frightened? Don’t you have faith yet?” Jesus was basically asking them if they still didn’t realize who he was.

Jesus speaks to our fear in this passage as well. This passage is a reminder to us that there’s no need to be afraid. Storms will come and things will happen, but our faith will sustain us. No matter what happens, we will spend eternity with God. So when a storm comes along, remember Jesus’ words: “Why are you frightened? Don’t you have faith yet?”

Discussion

• Ask your children about their storms in life; what have they been frightened by?
• Talk about ways that we can remember that God is there with us in the midst of these storms.
• How can they practice their faith during the storms of life?

Prayer

Thank God for always being there during the storms. Ask God to help you and your family not be afraid when storms come- that you will hold on to Him.

Jessica Asbell is currently serving as the Minister to Children at First Baptist Church of Roswell, GA. She has worked with children in various capacities at several churches, including Winter Park Baptist in Wilmington, NC, First Baptist of Decatur, GA, and Highland Hills Baptist in Macon, GA. She has a Master of Divinity from McAfee School of Theology and a BBA from Mercer University. In her spare time she loves to read, watch movies, and of course spend time with her sweet kitty, Lucy.

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