Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…
Late that day he said to them, “Let’s go across to the other side.” They took him in the boat as he was. Other boats came along. A huge storm came up. Waves poured into the boat, threatening to sink it. And Jesus was in the stern, head on a pillow, sleeping! They roused him, saying, “Teacher, is it nothing to you that we’re going down?”
Awake now, he told the wind to pipe down and said to the sea, “Quiet! Settle down!” The wind ran out of breath; the sea became smooth as glass. Jesus reprimanded the disciples: “Why are you such cowards? Don’t you have any faith at all?”
They were in absolute awe, staggered. “Who is this, anyway?” they asked. “Wind and sea at his beck and call!”
Mark 4: 35-41 (The Message)
Before that scene on the sea set out above and recorded in the Gospel of Mark, Jesus had been with His apostles for a while. They had heard Him teaching, speaking, confronting the Pharisees and other religious leaders of the day who challenged Him and were afraid of who He was.
And the apostles and many others had seen Him perform miracle after miracle. They had witnessed Him heal a leper on the side of the road, heal the Apostle Peter’s mother-in-law from a fever, and cast out demons (of illness, disease, depression, bad behavior) from many people who came to him asking for His help. They watched as a Roman Centurion came humbly to Him asking Jesus to heal a paralyzed servant. They watched as He raised a widow’s son to life, and listened to Him teach thousands on a hillside and in other settings.
But the faith of His twelve apostles & other disciples was still weak. Unfortunately they did not, and would not, fully appreciate who He was until His death and Resurrection. While He was with them, they would always underestimate His power. A power which was on board with them in that boat, and everywhere else.
The unfortunate thing is that they believed in His power only when they saw it occur. They believed in facts, in things they could see and touch. Like when Jesus actually awoke and calmed the storm, or when He healed someone. They didn’t believe in anything He did or promised until they saw it.
Listen to what the writer of Hebrews says in Chapter 11, verse 1—
“Faith means being sure of the things we hope for and knowing that
something is real even if we do not see it.” (NCV)
Here’s the truth—in the midst of whatever we’re in the middle of, no matter what—the God of the Universe, the Lord of Lords, the King of Kings, and the Healer of Healers—sees us, watches over us, wants the best for us, and is walking with us, with all of His power ready for us in the midst of whatever we are facing.
Our job, our requirement—is to believe it. To trust Him.
The Reverend Billy Graham said over and over to millions and millions around the world that we are not called to understand what God does, and how He does what He does. But Reverend Graham said—we are called to believe. We will never understand God’s way, but we have plenty of evidence today and throughout the centuries of His presence in the world and in our lives.
And in our better moments, we do believe He did what He did. Healing. Miracles. Calming storms. Parting seas and moving mountains.
But here’s the bigger problem many of us have.
Do we really believe that He wants to do all of that for us?
We see what He has done. We know He has been there and done things in the world before. But do we really believe that He wants to do all that for you, for me, for us?
Do we believe that He really wants good for you, that He really wants to watch over us, to care for us, to be with us? Sadly, many of us carry the baggage of past relationships we have had, into our relationship with God. Past relationships where we were let down, hurt, disappointed, neglected or rejected, maybe even abandoned. And so we wrongly attribute those characteristics to God. And because of our past experiences with those other people, they color our relationship with God, and we have trouble believing that God wants the best for us and is working through everything for our good.
But we need to believe that. We need to believe in Him. We need to give Him a chance to show us—that He is for real, and for us. Period.
Jesus is saying the same thing to us every day that He said to those disciples—trust me, believe me, don’t doubt, don’t fear, no matter what you face—I am here and will never leave you.
God sees us. He has His hand on us. He knows what our next step is, and the next and the next after that. He is with us and will go with us. He will calm the storms and quiet the wind and the waves in our lives.
He will make a way for us though the seas, and over and around the mountains which seem too high to climb. Every moment of our lives, He is there, sees us, and knows the way.
There is power on board for the way ahead—in the person of Christ.
And He knows the way.
Why not follow Him.
In His Name—Scott
Copyright 2014. Scott L. Whitaker. All rights reserved.