Monday, March 2, 2009

Where Are You?

I forgot to post this yesterday in my business. I could have waited until next week, but felt this was a really good devotion that I wanted to share with you!

"Immediately He made His disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while He dismissed the crowd. After He said good-bye to them, He went away to the mountain to pray. When evening came, the boat was in the middle of the sea, and He was alone on the land. He saw them being battered as they rowed, because the wind was against them. Around three in the morning He came toward them walking on the sea and wanted to pass them. When they saw Him walking on the sea, they thought it was a ghost and cried out; for they all saw Him and were terrified. Immediately He spoke with them and said, "Have courage. It is I. Do not be afraid. " Then He got into the boat with them and the wind ceased. They were completely astounded, because they had not understood about the loaves. Instead their hearts were hardened." ~~Mark 6:45-52

God has had me pondering on these few passages all week long. I think the reason for this is because sometimes when I am in the midst of my storm, I think Jesus has just left me there to handle it all by myself, but HE is there the whole time. Let's take a look at how we can know for sure that Jesus stays there.

First, I honestly believe that Jesus knew what was coming for the disciples. It says that He made them get into the boat and sent them on their way. God allows us to head into things, not to punish us or to be mean to us. He sends us into those things to teach us and to mold us into the person that He thinks we ought to be. I love it because in verse 47 it says that the boat was in the MIDDLE of the sea and the wind was against them. Just like our lives, we are there in the middle of everything that is going on and everything can be against us. But watch what happens.

While they were in the middle of the sea, it says that Jesus saw them being battered. He saw them. Why did he not rush to their aide immediately? What was His purpose in letting them go through this? Like little children, fi we rush to their side when something goes wrong and we save them from that thing, such as a hot stove or pan, most times they don't learn. They come back later for more. I believe that is what was happening here. Jesus was allowing His disciples to weather the storm in order to strengthen their faith, and also so that they could say, "Hey, I've been there and HE will see you through."

In the next verse 48, it says that Jesus began walking on the water and He wanted to pass them by. Now when I first read this, I was puzzled. Why would he want to pass them by? Then it hit me like a ton of bricks (thanks to my sweet hubby), He knew where they were going to come out. He already told them where he would meet them at. He was headed to that place to meet them there. But their fear began to overtake them. They saw Him and began crying out because they were scared. Many times when we are going through the hard times, instead of having faith and courage that Jesus will be near the end where He said He would be, we lose hope and get fearful along the way. We take our eyes off of HIM and put them on our storm that is raging around us. We lose our peace, and our faith, and we start crying out for Him to help us and deliver us. I have learned that if Jesus delivers me before I have learned anything, I find myself right back in that same situation. It's best to go ALL the way through and come out on the other end tried and true.

We all know the ending to this passage. Jesus gets into the boat and the storm immediately dies down. The disciples were completely astounded. They had seen Him heal sick people, feed 5000, bring dead people back to life, yet they were astounded that He calmed the storm. I think that is exactly how we are so many times. We don't have the faith to know that Jesus will take care of us. He has seen us through so many times, yet on this day, for this thing, we just don't think He can do what He says He can do.

Today, I leave you with this. When you are going through some tough times, trust the Lord that He will meet you at the end of it. I was once told by a very trusted friend, when I asked him, "Why does God allow me to go through all these things?" And he told me, "God only allows the people He trusts to go through things, that He knows will make the right decision, so He must trust you alot." If you are going through some rough times, trust God, because He trusts you.

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