Hi folks, and thanks so much for your prayers! Our move went very smoothly, and several friends from the different churches we’ve attended helped us get everything to our new apartment. So far we love living here, and this apartment meets our needs very well.
We\ve been having some trouble connecting our computers to the new Internet network here, so one more repost is in order. Stephanie Wrote this devotion in late June 2016. Enjoy!

“Jesus responded, “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” Then he got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly there was a great calm.”
–Matthew 8:26 (NLT)

Have you ever felt so afraid to do something that you allowed that fear to stop you, and then regretted your choice afterwards? I was in that situation last week when I reported to my county’s superior court for jury duty. Most people do not look forward to this one bit, but it was my first time and I felt excited and curious as I waited to be called. Finally I was given a number and led into a courtroom.

As the judge introduced the case and told us we would have to answer questions during the selection process, I started feeling more and more nervous. What was the judge going to ask me? How many times would I be put on the spot before the day was over? My excitement had been replaced by fear and a feeling of being alone.

Before he began his selection process, the judge asked if the potential jurors foresaw any financial or physical hardships that could prevent them from attending the predicted week-long trial. I happened to have a valid excuse involving transportation, so I explained my situation to the judge and he excused me from service.

Most people would say I had just escaped a long and boring week, but as I left the courtroom, I felt more sad than happy. I had bought my way out of an opportunity I had been looking forward to, and ignored a chance to serve my country.

Looking back on this situation the next day, I discovered one more missed chance. I hadn’t turned to God when I first became afraid. If I had asked God what He would have me do, I’m sure I would have felt His peace and calmed down, instead of impulsively excusing myself.

One phrase that often appears in the Bible is, “Fear not”. God reveals through many biblical examples that He can and will calm our fears if we will only ask it of Him.

The virgin Mary must have been scared out of her wits when an angel first appeared to her, and being pregnant with a supposedly illegitimate little boy must have been quite a daunting and discouraging challenge. But God’s presence was within her, both figuratively and physically. I’m sure Mary often prayed for God’s comfort, encouragement and guidance as her pregnancy became more apparent, and as she journeyed to Bethlehem with her faithful husband.

Our opening scripture tells us a story about Jesus Christ. He was once with his disciples during a great and terrible storm. They tried to find their own way out of the dangerous weather. They must have worked for hours, just trying to stay afloat and ride out the storm.

Jesus was asleep in the boat the whole time. His disciples must have wondered how he could be so calm, with all those noisy waves and the violent movement of the boat. In truth, the son of God was patiently waiting to leap into action and serve his followers. Once they finally asked Jesus for help, He immediately calmed the storm and made the strong winds grow quiet.

Jesus then challenged His disciples, asking why they hadn’t had faith in Him all along. If they had asked for Jesus’ help when the storm first began, they wouldn’t have had so much trouble trying to escape it.

When a situation scares you, do you try to weasel out of it like I did in the courtroom, or do you ask God for the peace and encouragement you need to make it through your darkest and scariest moments? If you have an intimate relationship with God, I challenge you to turn to Him whenever life throws something difficult at you. If you don’t know God very well yet, I hope you will ask Him into your life after you’ve studied His word in the Bible.

God may not remove all of the terrifying mountains in your way, but He will definitely give you the strength to climb them if you ask Him for help.

Thank you for reading this, and may the Lord give you a wonderful week! We are trying to reach people who are hurting, so if God lays it on your heart, please consider becoming a partner with us. If you would like to make a donation, please visit www.hcmachaplains.org and click on the Donate Now link. You can also send donations by mail to HCMA (Healthcare Chaplains Ministry Association). Our ID number is 560. The address is 377 E. Chapman Ave., Suite 260, Placentia, CA 92870. Finally, check out our online store at www.amway.com/burdicksbargains. In order to support us, please register for free on our store website before purchasing anything. Thank you!

If you have questions, comments or prayer requests for Timothy or Stephanie Burdick, please call 641-715-3900, ext. 874157.