“Immediately Jesus MADE the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd.”
Such awesome nuggets throughout the Word of God for us to grab hold. We need to sit-up and take note of theses treasures that are for us.
The disciples got into the boat after a miraculous day of feeding 5000. Endless bounty to all who were seated on the grass that day. What they witnessed had to increase their level of faith in the Messiah, at least one would think. And after it was over Jesus needed rest and refueling from the Father. He needed to be alone and pray.
He sends His disciples on ahead of Him to the other side. He would stay back and dismiss the crowd, spend time with the Lord and join them later.
The disciples did exactly what Jesus told them to do that evening. They were obedient to His word. They got in the boat and made their way to the other side.
When the boat was a considerable distance from the land, the wind began to blow. But these were experienced fishermen, nightfall and unstable conditions were routine and part of their job. They could easily handle it, until of course, they couldn’t.
The wind became violent and the waves became hostile. The water surrounded them creating a dangerous and fearful situation.
For hours they had rowed. For hours they fought tirelessly against the unrelenting forces that had overtaken them. For hours they were working, struggling, fighting trying desperately to get somewhere yet going nowhere. I imagine these men were frustrated beyond their measure. I’m certain they were worn out, exhausted, discouraged and disappointed.
Wasn’t it Jesus who led them to this place? Wasn’t it the Messiah, the very one who just fed the 5000 who directed their steps? Surely He knew the wind was stirring and the waves being formed. And yet, He made them go out into the sea. He led them right into their struggle. The disciples were in this place of frustration at the very will of Jesus.
We often find ourselves there as well. We experience these long seasons of hardship and wandering. And it’s hard. It’s so tiring and we want it to end. But we should take great comfort knowing that there are times in our walks with Christ, although difficult and painful, we are exactly where He wants us. There are are times when He not only allows, but He leads us to the raging storm. And He allows this with great intention and purpose. Like the disciples, His eye is always on us, He’s always interceding and He’s always working when it no longer makes sense.
And then, in the darkness, He shows up. In mercy He heaps grace. He walks right out on the water and into our storm and leads us to the other side. He heals our wounds and stretches our faith and we become more like Him.
Sometimes the discomforts and pain this world brings are exactly where we need to be. The places we find ourselves are the very places He’a purposes. See, God isn’t just concerned about our comfort, He’s always after the deeper places of our heart.
As He leads, follow. Follow Him to the places of refining fire that purifies with purpose. He has promised to never leave us or forsake us…. You can be in the storm and not overtaken.
Isaiah 43:2 NIV
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.