19th September 2019

Emotional and Spiritual Trials

“Jesus immediately reached out His hand and caught him…”
Matthew 14:31 (NRSV)

John (not his real name) was suffering from periodic sleepless nights. He had been subjected to a very severe emotional and spiritual trial a year beforehand, not of his making. He was deeply hurt by it, but he thought that the suffering would pass. ‘Time heals’ as the saying goes. But in his case, not completely.

John felt like the disciples on the Lake. Their fishing expedition was going well but then this storm blew up which nearly capsized their boat. Peter in the boat didn’t ask for the storm, he couldn’t control it and yet he was suffering from it. He wished he could do something.

Likewise our John thought, ‘Nobody can help me. I’ll just have to do something about it myself’. He tried pushing it out of his mind, he tried to think forgiving thoughts about the persons who had caused his mental anguish, but the sleepless nights persisted.

Peter got out of his boat. But this wasn’t a case of ‘solve it yourself.’ He felt he was being called by Someone greater than himself. He reached out to that Someone’s hand. And then it was that the storm abated and he felt at peace.

John knew about that Someone and he knew about Peter and the storm. But there was one piece missing. John was still having the occasional sleepless night. He had learned that there was nothing he could do on his own. Peter had been saved by Jesus’ outstretched hand. But where was the outstretched hand in John’s case? Jesus had ascended into heaven and was no longer there in bodily form.

One answer was all around him—Jesus has called and empowered Christian ministers and counsellors. John just needed the courage and humility to approach one of them and receive the guidance and help he needed.

Lord Jesus, trials come my way that are too burdensome for me to resolve on my own. Give me the faith to trust that nothing is beyond Your mighty power to overcome, and the peace that comes from committing them into Your hands.

Study by Christopher Reeve

About the Author:
Christopher Reeve is assistant pastor of the Invicta (Blean) Congregation near Canterbury, which is part of Grace Communion International/Worldwide Church of God UK.

Local Congregation:
Invicta Fellowship
Blean Village Hall
School Lane

Meeting Time:
Saturday 11.30 a.m.

Local Congregational Contact:
Mrs Annette Woods
Phone: 07473 188326
Email: annettewoods2@nhs.net

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