Rumors of Jesus’ presence circulate. Soon, a swarm of people, wanting to soak up every word Jesus has to say, gathers along the water’s edge of the lake.
After getting in a boat and pushing out a short distance, Jesus begins to teach, illustrating His message with kingdom-revealing parables.
The sun has spent its allotment of light for the day, and now, the onset of twilight slowly overtakes the glow of the sun. As the sun’s trail spreads whispers of crimson and coral across the sky, golden glimmers flit across the lake.
After teaching all day, a tired Jesus beckons to His disciples and says, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” (Mark 4:35 NLT) So the disciples join Him in the boat.
Some of those gathered wander away, homeward bound, leaving the core of the crowd clinging to the shoreline, while others hop in separate boats to follow Him.
As the boats sail farther and farther away, the throng dwindles, as those left pepper the shoreline.
While settling into the hardness of the boat, Jesus finds the softness of a cushion and curls up with it in the boat’s stern. As the sloshing waves rhythmically lick the boat, He falls asleep.
A gentle, warm breeze caresses the disciples’ faces, and then suddenly turns into a fierce, cold blast, slapping them with fury, disrupting the calm of the night.
Shards of lightning pierce the charcoaled night. A turbulent tempest pitches the boat up and down while a billowing surge of waves cants the boat back and forth, flinging the disciples from side to side and filling the boat with sea water.
Terrified, the disciples frantically shake Jesus to awaken Him and shout, “Teacher, don’t you even care that we’re about to drown?”
Jesus got up and sternly reprimanded the wind and said to the sea, “Keep silent! Be muzzled!” Immediately, Jesus’ command calms the frenzied wind, while a vast stillness smoothes the raging sea.
Disappointed, Jesus turns to the drenched and dripping disciples and says, “Why are you so timid and fearful? How is it that you do not yet have faith?”
Their faith would have taken them safely to the other side, even in the midst of the storm, and anchored them in the harbor.
Aren’t we like this? We set out in obedience to some command of the Lord and encounter a fierce storm of resistance. Then, what do we do? Our faith gets washed away and we think we must have misheard the Lord. The path of obedience to a divine command does not necessarily mean it will be smooth or peaceful.
The disciples were in danger of being overwhelmed by the waves of circumstance and the winds of fear; they cried out in distress thinking Jesus did not care. Let us pass over to the other side, Jesus said. A promised prediction they quickly forgot.
However, He is always in our life’s boat, keeping us safe even in the face of affliction, and knows the perfect time to step in.
The Lord is there. All the while. Steering your vessel through uncharted waters of adversity. In the blackest hours. He is your Navigator. He knows the way to the other side. Ride quietly and trust Him. He will not allow the wind and waves to overtake you.
When you encounter a storm, does your faith and obedience to God’s command take you safely to the other side and anchor you in the harbor of refuge?
“They mounted up to the heavens and went down to the depths; in their peril their courage melted away. They reeled and staggered like drunken men; they were at their wits’ end. Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and He brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and He guided them to their desired haven.”
(Ps. 107:26-30 NIV)
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