We avoid storms. We don’t purposefully put ourselves in a dangerous situation. Whether it be emotional or physical.
Think of a time you were overwhelmed--scared to your very core. Sometimes it can be physical danger. Or emotional trauma. Whatever the cause. The feelings are panic.
When we lived in Dallas before cell phones and GPS, I was lost during a rain storm while in a dangerous section of town. I was deciding whether I should turn right or left or turn around completely. I went for the U-turn when I got rear-ended.
All alone and feeling out of control, I felt my car lunge forward. I inched my way into the nearest parking lot. Several young women who were soliciting illegal business were screaming at me to move my car.
I left the seedy motel and pulled into a liquor store. There I convinced the owner to let me make one call. I dialed my husband. With a shaky voice I told Bob I was in an accident, was scared, and was very lost. I asked him to pray.
With little to no navigational skills or map, I miraculously made it home.
I had driven to inner-city Dallas to get my immunization shots for a summer mission trip to El Salvador.
God decided to stretch my faith in preparation. That summer in El Salvador it was common to hear the explosion of near-by bombs. I needed to learn that He would be with me in scary situations.
In the gospel of Mark, God had a lesson he felt the disciples needed to learn.
The disciples were experienced fishermen. They knew how to read the weather. And the thing they would have avoided was going out at night if they suspected a storm was brewing.
They set sail.
And what they didn’t suspect happened.
A strong wind was blowing and the waters grew rough. When they had rowed three or three and a half miles, they saw Jesus approaching the boat, walking on the water; and they were terrified. John 6:18-19
I can’t imagine rowing over three miles. Rowing is hard work. Especially in the wind. In choppy water. In a storm.
I’m sure thoughts of “we are going to die”, filled their minds. There was a strong possibility that they wouldn’t make it back to safety.
But then Jesus shows up and they immediately reached the shore.
What can we learn from this story that can help us when we encounter trials?
We like to believe that God will keep us from problems. But as I read scripture, I am convinced that he allows difficulties to show us that we can trust him.
In the midst of choppy waters, strong winds, and rowing frantically; God is with us.
He doesn’t always prevent the storm. Instead, He is with us in the storm. Therefore, we have hope.
And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit.
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