Experiencing Jesus in Your Most Terrible, Terrifying Moments

(Unsplash/Callie Gibson)

I had been calling out to the Lord for several days, telling him I felt overwhelmed by life and saying, "I can't do all of this." That was when I opened my email to find a request from the children's director. Would I be willing to teach the missions segment of Vacation Bible School? My response was something like "Ha!" and closing my laptop.

Teach VBS. Pfff.

The next day, I opened my email again and reread her question. She said the magic words, "We have curriculum, but you can do whatever you want. And also we want you to share a gospel presentation." The gospel? I loooove sharing the gospel with kids. Whatever I want? Israel came to mind, the Israel that God had been branding on my heart for a year and a half. This was a call from the Lord.

Matt said, "Do it!"

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I joked that maybe God hadn't been hearing me all those days when I felt like I couldn't breathe and kept saying toomuchtoomuchtoomuchtoomuch. But obedience is the spice of life, so I typed out an "I would love to" and hit send.

Following God is nuts.

The weeks continued to be full, as I finished the whirlwind last month of school and then had company. VBS came, and I was not ready. Really not ready, and I like to be a teacher who has been marinating on my lessons for days, if not weeks.

Before VBS began, I spent one early morning reading about the time when Jesus and the disciples were in a boat on the Sea of Galilee. A huge storm came up, and it was enough to fill the boat faster than a man could bail and to freak out seasoned fisherman. They went to Jesus, and he calmed the storm. The next sentence came alive for me: "They were terrified" (Mark 4:41a, NIV).

What an awesome memory verse. They were terrified when they experienced what Jesus could do, and I turned that into a prayer. Lord, I want to be terrified at how much you can help me in my life right now.

Don't you think most of the time we feel terrified that we won't get help? Totally backwards. We should ask for help and then shake in our boots at the power that will be used on our behalf.

I tackled VBS, and every day of preparation was a heavy burden and stressful drudgery, if I can be honest. The afternoons felt like water swamping the boat, and I couldn't bail fast enough. Some people work well under stress, but I'm not one of those people, especially coming into the week already worn out from a long, hard season. Then I would get up to teach each day, and it was the most amazing, rich week with the kids. I could feel Jesus helping me while I was teaching. It was incredible, like telling a storm to be quiet and it listens.

You need help, too. I know you do. Ask Jesus for help and then employ your imagination to be completely terrified at what he can bring to your problems and needy places.

Christy Fitzwater is an author and pastor's wife living in Kalispell, Montana. She is the author of Blameless: Living A Life Free from Guilt And Shame and My Father's Hands: 52 Reasons to Trust God with Your Heart. Find her devotional writing at christyfitzwater.com.

This article originally appeared at christyfitzwater.com.

Christy Fitzwater is an author and pastor's wife living in Kalispell, Montana. She is the author of Blameless: Living A Life Free from Guilt And Shame and My Father's Hands: 52 Reasons to Trust God with Your Heart. Find her devotional writing at christyfitzwater.com.

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