Jesus commanded His disciples. ‘Let us go to the other side…’
-Mark 4: 35 – 41
They ‘left the crowd behind…’ This was to be a personal test for the disciples alone. ‘Tired as He was’ Jesus went to sleep in the boat. Then a furious storm started. The waves were higher than the boat. Initially, the disciples did not bother to wake Jesus, knowing Him to be a carpenter and a teacher. Jesus was not a fisherman like most of them. He cannot help… or so they thought… But when the wind increased and the boat was almost overturned, they cried to Him in despair: ‘Teacher, don’t You care if we drown?’ Jesus woke up and rebuked the winds. The storm suddenly stopped and it was completely calm. But in the midst of that wonderful peace, Jesus rebuked His disciples for their doubt. They looked at Him as a class teacher, as a liability in the midst of a crisis. It was obvious that they lacked mature faith in Him. They did not believe that Jesus is God ‘who never sleeps or slumbers,’ in control of all things.
Just like them, many believers trust God only before or after the storm. But in the middle of a crisis, they reverse back to their elementary fears and doubts. They go to their natural way of thinking, to the common sense of the flesh, and like lost children, they panic and cry. Mature faith remains unmoved by circumstances, trusting the God who can stop the wind with His very breath. Mature faith has the same peace before, in the middle and at the end of the trial. Trials are like tunnels. Before the train enters the tunnel, it is light. Suddenly darkness comes. For a time it seems as though the darkness will never end. That pain, that weeping, that loneliness… it seems like it will go on forever. But at the end of the tunnel the sun shines once more. Tunnels are not graveyards. We are just passing through. All these trials and temptations, all these things you battle with, they only come ‘to pass.’ Our life should not depend on the circumstances. Christ is our life. Our faith is rooted in the Cross and in the Promises of God. Heaven is our destination. Joy is our portion. Eternal life is our inheritance. These are blessed things that have come to stay. Do you boast about your faith only when your feet are set on dry land? Do you have the same faith in the middle of the storms of life? Remember, it was Jesus who said: ‘Let us go to the other side.’ Do you trust Jesus to finish what He has started in you? Do you trust Jesus in between the shores? Do you trust Him when He is silent? Do you trust Him when He is sleeping? Do you trust Him when He answers the prayer of others, but ignores your own?
This is my testimony: Jesus has been with me always. I am a witness to His faithful fellowship, no matter the circumstances. His Word comes to me with power. He has been with me in riches and poverty, in sickness and in health, at home and abroad. Why will I doubt Him now? Why will I fear the end of the matter? Why will I fret in the midst of things unknown? Why will I be sad when men betray me? Why will I lose my temper when men provoke me? He has commanded me to rejoice always, so I will rejoice! He is my Shepherd and He is my God!
In Christ I declare:
Jesus is my Savior and my Lord! I trust God before, in the middle and after the storms of life! As for me and my household, we shall serve the Lord! Always! And forever! ‘This is my story; this is my song, praising my Savior all the day long…’
In Jesus’ name,
(From my Book The Doe of the Morning)
(I took this picture from the 13th floor of our cruise ship. A passenger was left behind. He missed the ship. A courageous speed boat faced the mighty waves and brought him back as we were already cruising in the North Sea. I have never seen so much effort done to help a single man not to miss ‘his destiny’… how much more God will take care of us to the end so that no one will be left behind….Wonderful…)