If a piece of steel is bent back and forth enough times it will become fatigued to the point of structural failure. Do you sometimes feel distressed to the point of giving up? Jesus’ disciples felt they had reached their breaking point. They had been pressed to the limit day after day often with little sleep and scarcely a moment to eat. All this they had endured because every day Jesus knew what to do next. He healed the sick gave sight to a man who had never been able to see and even raised His friend Lazarus from the grave. But on that night when Jesus took the bread and cup and told them of His coming death they were left in spiritual shock.
Jesus prayed in agony just a stone’s throw away but they fell asleep: and not just once or twice but three times! Their hearts were overwhelmed by fear and sorrow for what lay ahead. Do you feel like His disciples tonight? It is okay. Jesus was the Son of God but not superman and He doesn’t expect us to be either!
Don’t misunderstand He does expect us to watch and pray. But Jesus was weary and rested by the well. Jesus was hungry and ate real food at parties. Jesus knew sorrow and He wept at the grave of His friend. Jesus was so sleepy that He even fell asleep in a boat in a storm! The secret Jesus had was not super strength but rather yielding His weaknesses to God. There He found a strength that carried Him all the way to the cross. We must remember that it was not till after Jesus slept in the boat that He awoke and calmed the storm!
But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” Mark 4:38 NKJV
2 Corinthians 4:18 while we look not on the things which are seen but the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporal but the things which are not seen are eternal
When I took this photo I just wanted to frame the river in the rigging of the boat. What was not seen by my eye was the Cross. That cross no longer seen is the one most eternal picture in the mind and heart of God!
On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” Mark 4:35
God has plans for another chapter in our lives in 2015. He is not content to leave us where we are and He challenges us to trust Him to begin something new. It seems so nice and peaceful just resting here on this side of what we know, but Jesus says ,”Let’s go to the other side!”
Every year about this time my wife and I pack our bags and prepare for travel. In the weeks leading up to our trip we buy a few things, begin to pack our bags and make arrangements for everything we can think of. The excitement builds as we imagine the weeks of unfettered schedules and new experiences. Jesus is inviting each of us to prepare, and to be ready for new things. But wrapped up in His challenge is a word we may have missed. Jesus said “Let’s!” That single word makes all the difference when we launch out to points unknown. We can set sail with the certainty that Jesus will be in the boat with us. There’s a song we sing at our Brazilian church in Portuguese that loosely translated goes something like this:
Raise the anchor of the boat, take the oars in your hands and sail away with faith in Jesus
Because this is the way you will see what beautiful things He will do
Because with Him you will be secure
So if looking over the endless horizon of 2015 you feel overwhelmed by the smallness of your boat and by the vastness of the sea, remember that in your little boat travels the King on kings and the Captain of all ships’ captains. No matter the distance, no matter the storms, our Lord will never abandon ship, nor will He allow the waves to keep us back from the safe harbor of His arms!