I Needed a Reminder
One of the coolest things about the Bible is that you can be traveling along over a familiar passage you’ve heard your whole life when it jumps off the page and hits you with something you just never saw before. I am the worst for thinking, “Yea, yea, yea…I know that.” After all, I think I have been in church since before I was vaccinated and I grew up singing about the “joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart” from the time I was a toddler. For a good many years of my life that “joy, joy, joy, joy” was just part of a Sunday School song.
I’ve been studying Mark lately, and I have fallen hard for this gospel. I always thought it must be less important than Matthew, Luke, and John because it was much shorter. Goes to show how much I knew. It is like reading the Cliff Notes, I guess. It is action packed and there are no wasted words.
But this is what I ran across this week and I just so love the thought I decided to share it. The thought has remained with me for days and seems to ride the coattails of every thought. It has been a picture of the words “living hope” as I have navigated this week.
In Mark 6, Jesus had just had quite a “crusade” –preaching and multiplying two fish and five loaves to fee the 5000. Some commentators say that is a conservative estimate since the record keepers of that day only counted the men present. No mention of women and children although that’s a story for another time.
I feel certain the women and children ate their fill as well since Jesus’ disciples had a “no litter” policy and recouped twelve baskets of leftovers when the crowd departed. After this exhausting miracle, Jesus sent the disciples off in the boat alone. He needed some down time alone.
If ever the disciples should be experiencing a spiritual “high” this was it. They had witnessed a miracle up close and personally. At that point, Jesus was like a rock star. The crowds were amazed at the preaching, the healings, the way He multiplied the few loaves and fishes. This was better than being on the winning team in the Super Bowl at that point.
So, Jesus goes off to pray. Several hours pass and from Jesus’ vantage point he can see his friends out on the lake rowing the boat. Verse 48 says, they were “straining” at the oars because the wind was against them. They were tired, discouraged, and although they had lost sight of Jesus, He had not lost sight of them. He was indeed paying attention.
Ultimately, Jesus goes walking across the lake, quiets the wind, and gets in the boat with his disciples. “And they were utterly astounded.” It would seem that at some point they would expect Jesus to come through in a crisis. After all, they had witnessed a number of miracles. They had seen things happen that were not possible apart from the supernatural power of God himself.
The thing that comforts me most is that while we are rowing our own little boats and stewing over the hassles of our daily grind and the uncertainties of the future, our struggles are not unknown to our Lord. He ALWAYS see us – even when we lose sight of Him.