There are times when we feel like we are sailing against the wind.
An adverse wind hits us in the face and we find ourselves struggling to move forward.
What can we do when we are against the wind?
Our message for this week focused upon a similar experience of the disciples. While they were trying to sail across the Sea of Galilee one evening, these men encountered an adverse wind. They struggled at the oars as they attempted to make their way forward.
The story can be found in Mark 6:45-52. Jesus sees the disciples in their distresses. His response brought comfort and peace to the disciples. And, his response stands to offer comfort and peace to us during our times of struggle.
Jesus response can be quickly summarized by four observations:
- Jesus goes to them. Jesus does not pass by them; rather, Jesus goes to his disciples in the midst of their struggle. Likewise, God has a funny way of coming to us through our relationship with Jesus in the midst of weakness and struggle.
- Jesus reveals himself to the disciples. He does not simply come to them; rather, he reveals his identity to them in the midst of their struggle. Our times of struggle may not seem like the most opportune time for God to be revealed, yet God has a way of not only showing up…God reveals God’s love to us (in and through Jesus) when we are most in need of love! But, be clear, God’s revelation of love must be received. God’s grace and mercy must be accepted.
- Jesus climbs into the boat with the disciples. Jesus takes it a step further, literally. Jesus doesn’t simply come to his disciples in the midst of their distress, nor does he only reveal himself to the disciples in the midst of their struggle. Jesus climbs into the boat with them — Jesus enters into their struggle alongside of them! To those of us who are willing to look for God in the midst of our struggle and to accept God’s revelation of grace, mercy, and love, we will be quick to discover the presence of God alongside of us as we struggle against the winds in our life.
- Finally, the wind ceases, but the disciples must continue to row. The presence of Jesus alongside of the disciples delivers a sense of peace, comfort, and calmness. The presence of Jesus, however, does not negate the struggle!!! The disciples must continue to cross the sea…only, crossing the sea is a little less of a challenge and a little more peaceful with Jesus in their boat! The presence of God in our life will not remove the struggle of needing to move forward, but the presence of God through our relationship with Jesus (and by the power of the Holy Spirit) brings a peace, comfort, and calmness to our lives. The struggle is real, but there is peace in the presence of God.
So, these are just a few quick notes on the message from Sunday! If you have a moment, I would invite you to listen to the full audio message.
Blessings to all!!!