Caught in a Storm

First came the locusts. They removed every appointment and all travel from my calendar—it was laid bare.

Next came the deluge of information and wave upon wave of change.

I was caught in the storm—COVID-19.

Then, through the faithful presence of the Holy Spirit, I heard a still small voice in the midst of the storm. “Come to Me. I see that you are weary and burdened. I will give you rest. Walk together with Me. I will keep an easy pace. Learn from Me. Don’t worry, I will not add to your burden. I am gentle. I am humble in heart. I am here. Find rest for your soul” (see Matthew 11:28–29).

What a sweet invitation. What sweet relief.

Drowning in a sea of information, including the vast amount of truths found in Scripture, I needed a lifeline. I couldn’t process it all. I needed to sharpen my focus.

I found my anchor—my focus for weathering this storm—in the Person and words of Jesus.

Here’s where I started.

First, I chose to fix my eyes on Him—the One who authored and perfected living by faith. I considered Jesus’ life and His response to life. I did this so that I would not grow weary and lose heart (see Hebrews 12:2–3).

Second, I determined to focus on Jesus’ words—after all, His invitation includes “learn from Me.” But where to begin?

This is what I heard next: “‘. . . everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock’” (Matthew 7:24–25).

Incredible. These familiar words were sown in my heart with soil freshly plowed by this crisis, ready to receive this seed of truth. I found my lifeline and my focus in this storm—Jesus.

Yet it’s not enough for me to hear and agree with the words of Jesus. I must put them into practice (see Matthew 7:26–27 and James 1:22–25). Putting them into practice grants stability and strength to both my life and my witness.

And so, the adventure begins—even as the storm continues to rage.

Want to join in?

Read a portion of the Gospels every day, focusing specifically on Jesus’ words. Perhaps you can find a “red-letter” edition of the Scriptures on your shelf. Your eyes will thank you for the rest from screen time!

Hear Jesus’ words; put them into practice. The word may be “repent” (Matthew 4:17). Or, “Come, follow me” (Matthew 4:19). Perhaps it’s “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44).

Keep listening. Take one day at a time. This is how we build spiritual strength. This is how we demonstrate Kingdom living. This is our opportunity—today.

Here is my prayer: Yes, Jesus. I do hear your words. I will continue to receive your words. Give me both the desire and the wisdom to put them into practice. Amen.

Jen Vogel

Jen Vogel

Jen is the national director for Alliance Women; she serves in a variety of ministry capacities, including on the President's Cabinet for The Alliance. She enjoys reading, travel, and completing the New York Times crossword puzzle daily. Jen and her husband, Doug, attend Dover Avenue Alliance Church in Orange City, Iowa.

Four Responses to “Caught in a Storm”

  1. God is so good, my husband and I just finished bible study with our brothers & sisters of Stroudsburg Alliance Church, we are studying the book of Hebrews, Chapter that warns us to pay attention, don’t drift away!
    We must be anchored
    God Bless

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