Saturday, August 18, 2007

The Other Side of the Sea

I do not know what it looked like on the boat that night as recorded in the Gospel of Mark after Jesus said to His disciples on the Sea of Galilee, "Let us go over to the other side." It must have been much worse than this...

No fancy all-weather gear, no helmets, no safety harnesses, no Global Positioning Systems, no mast-mounted video cameras recording their courage for posterity and their hordes of adulating fans around the world. Just a furious squall, the disciples absolutely scared half out of their wits, and Jesus in the stern, asleep on a cushion. When the crew awoke Him saying, "Don't you care if we drown?" as in, "Why did you tell us to cross the sea today? You know all things. Surely you could have chosen a better course for us to sail...!" He rebuked them for their lack of faith, and then calmed the raging seas and howling wind with three little words, "Quiet! Be still!"

Teresa and I once crossed some thiry miles or so of the open Pacific Ocean in a small ferry boat with waves running upwards of twelve feet on average, but the worse weather systems I have ever encountered have been the howling storms of my own soul, those moments when I wondered where God was in the midest of my circumstances, and why He had allowed them to develop. Again and again, though, I have heard the Master say, "Peace! Be still!" He will do the same for you if you will bring your anxious heart to Him. He is bigger than any tempest you may face and He has promised He will never leave you or forsake you, come what may...!

"35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” 39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. 40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” 41 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!” " (Mark 4:35-41, NIV)

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