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Wednesday in Lent 2

Luke 8:1–39

I’m looking at the second half of the reading today, especially the part of the disciples in the boat with Jesus.  It’s the part I can most easily identify with right now in my life so it’s the easiest to pray my way inside of it.  That may be a funny way to talk but it’s not a bad way to pray, to see ourselves, in this case, as one of the disciples inside the boat that stormy night.

Have you been there?  In a storm, in the dark, in the midst of fear and doubt and grief and panic and God seems to be sleeping!  There seem to be two things going on here.  The disciples have enough faith to wake Jesus up but they don’t have enough faith to let Him sleep.

I have never thought there was any shame in praying, “Master, we are dying here.”  The psalms are filled with these sorts of prayers.  “I’m in it up to my neck, Lord.  Wake up!  Help!”  We believe in a heavenly Father, and Luther always encouraged us to approach Him as a dear child would approach their dear Father.

And Jesus wakes up and answers their prayer, does He not?  Yes, He offers some commentary about their apparent lack of faith.  And we want to say, of course we trusted You, that’s why we woke you up!  But I guess you’re right, too.  On some level we didn’t trust you or we wouldn’t have panicked.  And that’s about right, in my mind, of what faith in God is like.  Some have stronger faith, of course.  Others, like me, pray daily, “Lord, I believe, help my unbelief.”

I see so many folks among us whose boats are threatened to be swamped.  I pray for them and my problems seem much smaller.  But God is good and He hears and answers our prayers, whether now or not, but always in eternity.  We are safe in Him regardless of what the world throws at us.  He is God and He is for us.  Jesus is the proof of that, then and now.

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