August 31 - Peace in the Storm

By Lillian Sparks

Today's Scripture: Job 38:1.

Central Thought: God speaks to His children in the midst of the storm.

    At that moment I didn't feel too safe. The sudden drop in altitude and flash of lightening outside my window made my knuckles whiten and the knot in my stomach grow more intense. Ever since 9-11, flying has proved to be a test of my faith. Now, 38,000 feet in the air, somewhere over the South Pacific Ocean, I was a captive 'prisoner” of Air Pacific Airlines and the violent forces of nature.

    The pilot's voice was meant to be calming, but instead it reinforced the reality. 'Please buckle your seatbelts. Attendants take your seats. Everyone hang on…for the next thirty minutes we will experience some major turbulence.”

    'Easy enough for him to say, 'Hang on!” I whispered out loud. That's when I realized that I was faced with a decision to give in to faith or fear. It reminded me of Paul's venture when he found himself captive aboard the Alexandrian ship en route to Italy. Yet, his confidence remained like a rock when trouble engulfed the ship. In the midst of the storm an angel spoke, 'Do not be afraid!” These words were enough to bring hope, and Paul encouraged the crew to take heart, because he believed God (Acts 27:25).

    Silently, I prayed, 'Lord, I believe you too!” I pulled my Bible out of my carry-on bag and began to read Psalm 46: 'God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear….” Immediately I sensed God's presence, and His peace filled my heart.

    During a whirlwind of suffering, the Lord Himself breaks silence and speaks to Job, his servant. Unlike Job's friends, God doesn't bring a list of his sins or shortcomings, but uses a rhetorical device to remind him of His magnificent creation, the mystery of His divine design, and the beauty and order of the world. All of this is beyond Job's control—and to acquire peace and answers to his dilemma, he must learn to trust God in the midst of the storm. Job's faith passes the test, for he announces, 'I know that my redeemer lives!”

Devotional Prayer: When the storms of life engulf me, Lord, help me to listen for Your voice or watch for Your intervention. May I recognize that You are still at work even during the darkest night or most violent tempest.

Today's Bible Reading: Job 37:1-39:30; 2 Corinthians 4:13-5:10; Psalm 44:9-26; Proverbs 22:13