Weekly Manna for Memory
“‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.'”
Read: Mark 4:35-41
35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 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?”
39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
41 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”
I kind of chuckle as I read the disciples’ response to Jesus as he calms the storm. Can you just imagine being there? These guys had already seen Jesus cast out demons and heal the sick, including paralytics and lepors. They must have had some idea of the power this Son of Man possessed. But, imagine with me, if you will…THE SEA and THE WIND obey Him! Can you imagine? I mean, diseases and demons, those are things humans can take care of, right? But…altering the course of nature itself? Actually calming a raging storm that terrified seasoned fishermen? That’s mind-blowing! And it terrified the disciples. And that’s what makes me chuckle.
Shouldn’t they have already recognized Jesus for Who He was? Of course the Son of God has power over His own Creation! He created it by His WORD alone. WOW! That’s power! How could the disciples miss that and be surprised by it?
But how often do we miss it too? Although we didn’t walk this earth with Jesus Himself, in some ways we have way more knowledge about Him than the disciples were privy to. We know the overall redemption plan of God the Father. We already know of the death and resurrection of His Son. And we can read throughout the Bible how much God loves us and how sovereign He is and how He works for the GOOD of those who love Him (Romans 8:28). Period. So why do we fear? Why do I fear trusting Jesus with control of my life? With the lives of my loved ones? Why do I so badly want to keep control of things around me and know every minute what God is doing? Why, when I get in over my head or when trials come thick, do I call out, “Teacher, don’t you care if [I] drown?” (v. 38).
Do you think Jesus perhaps sighed at the disciples’ concern a bit as he got up to calm the sea? Do you think He might turn to us sometimes, as He holds our little boat in His nail-scarred hands, and ask “‘Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?'” (v. 40).
He loves us SO much. He is SO powerful. He hasn’t promised no storms…but He HAS promised His presence in the midst of them, even in the valley of the shadow of death (Psalm 23). Rest assured, He won’t let you drown, no matter how rocky the waves. In the end it is all for your good…even if it doesn’t seem like it right now.
Lord Jesus, you see my life with all its turmoil. You see the areas in which I struggle to have faith. You see the situations that make me so very afraid of what might happen or like I have no control. You know how I long for the storm to be over in these situations. Jesus, I ask that you would calm my every fear. I ask for more faith where I lack it. Jesus, please calm the storm in my heart even if the one in my life is serving a higher purpose and needs to stay around for a while. Please give me the peace that passes all understanding so I can make it through each day. And, Lord, help me to lean on you, trust you and to glorify you in the midst of the storm. I pray that it would strengthen my faith and that it would draw me closer to you. I pray this in Your name and for Your glory. Amen.
Meal of Manna
In your journal, meditate on the following questions in light of today’s Manna Snack:
What are some areas of turmoil, uncertainty, or sadness in your life right now? Write them down and pour out your emotions to God. Jesus says, “‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest'” (Matt. 11:28). Surrender your burdens to Him. You weren’t meant to carry them on your own.
Ask God to show you ways in which He is already working in or through these situations in your life. Be sure to jot down what he shows you. Thank Him for those things.
Take some time to meditate on God’s amazing power over all things; even the wind and the waves obey Him! Take each situation you wrote down for #1 and surrender it to God, taking Him at His word that He is working out all things for the good of those that love Him (Romans 8:28). Ask Him for His peace in each situation and for your spiritual eyes to be opened to how He is using it for good in your life or the lives of those around you.
Take-Away for Today
As you go about your tasks today, anytime a stressful situation comes up or you think about those items mentioned in your journal, take it to Jesus and just surrender it to Him immediately, knowing that He loves you and cares about what you are going through.
Post the memory verse for the week somewhere you can see it often to remind you of Jesus’ invitation to lighten your burden.