Thursday, July 13, 2017
Bringing Jesus on Board
“A strong wind was blowing and the waters grew rough. He saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them. When they had rowed three or three and a half miles, they saw Jesus approaching the boat, walking on water; and they were terrified… ‘It is I; don’t be afraid.’ Then they were willing to take him into the boat…They were completely amazed, for they had not understood about the loaves; their hearts were hardened.’”Excerpts from the shared testimonies of Mark 6:45-52 and John 6:16-21.
The dynamics of this situation are very interesting when considering it from an aerial view. The disciples had just returned from a very successful preaching tour where the power of God was displayed in very concrete ways. No doubt they came back with self-confidence and a greater sense of themselves. The feeding of the 5000 was immediately played out at their return, and they actually partnered with Jesus in this miracle. They left there and got in their boat to go to the other side of the lake, leaving Jesus alone on the shore. A storm arose and they became fearful for their lives, and straining to keep control of the boat while trying to navigate to safety. During their exhaustion, they looked up and saw a figure on the water moving towards them. They didn’t even recognize Jesus as He was coming to take control of the storm and their safety. He actually had to announce Himself to them. Scripture then tells us that they are ‘willing’ to take him into the boat. It also states that they were completely amazed that He walked on water. They had just witnessed Him multiplying 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish to the nourishment of over 5000 people. (The 5000 didn’t include women and children.) So we ask ourselves, ‘If they had seen Jesus perform that miracle, why were they amazed that He could do this miracle?’
Aren’t we the same way sometimes? Don’t we fail to see miracles all around us, because we are looking at our limited circumstances instead of our unlimited God. When the storms come out of nowhere we ‘strain at the oars’ taking the challenges on in our own strength. We are so busy looking at the waves we don’t even recognize Jesus in our midst. He’s there…He’s walking towards us…He wants to be invited into the boat. Will we be willing to bring Him on board and turn the oars over to Him? Will we sit in remembrance during our storms and remember other miracles and rescues He has done on our behalf in the past? Do we really believe in His constant provision even while we wait for a safe haven? The fact is that He is faithful and orchestrating the details of our lives whether we recognize it or not.
Let us all look for Him in our trials, invite Him in to take control and trust Him to safely navigate us home.