I remember when I was a young teenager. I was living in the midst of the storm of my parents’ divorce. Life was confusing. I rode my bike probably 10 miles one way to get to church each Sunday, a Baptist church in West Melbourne, here in Florida. It was the 60’s (yes, I’m an old guy, lol). I had been bringing my friends to church to introduce them to Jesus. Only my friends were black. My youth pastor took me aside and told me that while what I was doing was good, THEY had their church and we had OURS. This racism upset me so much that I turned my back on God saying that if this is who God was; I wanted nothing to do with Him! I started professing to be an atheist!
In the years that followed, as I turned my back on God, I continued to FEEL His presence and to SEE His presence in my life. I was like the disciples on this lake; they had left Jesus back on the shore (though for a different reason) and were now out on the water alone, a storm raging around them. Here, read the scriptures:
Mark 6:47-52 (TNIV)
47 When evening came, the boat was in the middle of the lake, and he was alone on land. 48 He saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them. Shortly before dawn he went out to them, walking on the lake. He was about to pass by them, 49 but when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought he was a ghost. They cried out, 50 because they all saw him and were terrified. Immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
Though I had lost sight of Jesus, His concern for me overcame my lack of faith. I was like these disciples out on the water, afraid, the storm of my life was raging out of control, my faith waned but Jesus was there, saying, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
I would point out that in the desperate moments of our life, we may feel as if Jesus is passing us by (“He was about to pass by them”, V48). It is when we recognize our helplessness, that we are ready to receive His help.
When you are like these disciples, straining at the oars in the storm of life and you feel like you aren’t going anywhere, don’t be afraid! Jesus sees you and will not desert you. Like the disciples, “Cry out”……and Jesus is there my friend…….saying, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”