“On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, ‘Let us cross over to the other side.’ Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, ‘Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?’ Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace, be still!‘ And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. But He said to them, ‘Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?’ And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, ‘Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!‘”
Go to Jesus.
The other day, I was driving in the middle of bad weather. It was pouring down rain, the wind was blowing, and I was clutching the steering wheel as I drove on the highway and tried to keep up with the flow of traffic. But then, I reached an underpass, and as I went under it for like 2 seconds, the rain and wind were blocked, the noise was gone, and it felt so calm… it caused me to relax for just enough time to re-brace myself and face the storm again.
When this happened, I thought about how it’s like what happens when we go to Jesus. When we step into the presence of God, sit down and spend time with Him for a few minutes alone, all the noise of our crazy lives is drowned out, all the madness and chaos is blocked, and there’s this calm. Even though it may feel like everything around you is pounding down and the floods are rising, when we go to God, we can get that peace that keeps us going.
Go to church.
“And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” Hebrews 10:25
There are so many reasons that church is important. To name a few:
You are making God a priority.
(And as part of the children’s ministry, I believe it is so necessary to lead your kids in this example of putting God first.)
You are creating community.
“Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them” (Matthew 18:19). It is important to be united in Christ with others, and church is where you can come together and do this.
You can serve God.
We’re ultimately here on earth to share the Gospel to others, and the church gives us the opportunity to do that using our gifts. You can use your musical talents, your ability to be friendly and welcoming, your organization skills, and so much more to further the Kingdom of God.
Go away from the crowds.
“The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.’ So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place” (Mark 6:31-32).
It’s important that we step away from everyone else and be alone with Jesus. We talked about the importance of church, and encouraging friends are amazing, but neither of those things are as important as your actual one-on-one time with God. Get away from all of the noise. Reading blogs (as you’re currently doing), listening to podcasts, or watching sermons are all beneficial and can fill you up (as long as they’re speaking Truth), but when is the last time you talked TO God, rather than just hearing ABOUT God? Nothing is comparable to God’s own Word and listening to what He has to say.
Go to a quiet place.
Make the choice to go and spend time with God… Even if you’re busy. Even if you’re tired.
“Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of Him to the other side, while He dismissed the crowds. After He had sent them away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray” (Mark 6:45-46).
Jesus had a long day. He had a crowd of people following him around, had just performed a miracle, and was finally sending them away… I don’t know about you, but I would have just wanted to go to bed. But, Jesus decides to go alone to pray. It’s so easy to make excuses for not spending time with God. Life is so busy. You may work long days, then come home and run the kids around, have a quick dinner, put the kids to bed, then use some time to clean or catch up on some stuff. Or maybe you go to class all day, have commitments with your org, do homework and study, and somehow also try to have a well-balanced meal. Either way, by the end of it, you just want to get some sleep so you can do it all over again tomorrow. But it’s so important that our time with God is not an option to sacrifice when things get hectic. Set a point in the day where you make that choice to go to a quiet place and find that peace as you sit in the presence of the Lord, talk to Him, and read His Word. That’s where you can find true rest, anyway.
Jesus is in our boat. He is right there with us when we are in the middle of the storms. Don’t be fearful of what you’re facing, but go to Him, confident in His power, and He can give you that peace you’re searching for. Find community and put God first as you make the decision to go to church regularly. But remember that above everything, spending time with Him is the most important thing to do, no matter how busy or drained we are.