“He saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them.”
It is good for us to know that Jesus sees our labor and effort. He perceives all that concerns us, and he knows the issues that matter most. Attentive and keenly aware he comes. It is quite common for us to think that he isn’t aware, and we may feel that he will pass us by without a word. But that is not the case at all.
Jesus watches us, all the time. He knows the battle, the fight we have with our flesh, and the difficulty we have with the challenging people in our lives. Not everyone loves me, and I struggle a large part of the time. My depression, and my paranoid fears cannot obscure his sight. Jesus knows when (and why) I labor like I do. And he doesn’t condemn me at all.
The disciples were straining very hard to move the boat. Every oar was being used and every man had his seat. They probably tried to work together. Considerable effort was being expended, but to no avail. The wind pushed harder against them. This is perplexing. If you remember, they are trying to obey the command of Jesus to cross the sea. Why do things have to be so difficult?
I’m intrigued by believers who expect sunshine, blue sky and red roses because they are doing God’s Will. They don’t seem to factor in the issue of conflict and challenge. They see their “Goliath” and they pretend that he doesn’t exist, or they try to make peace with him. The battle to come is of no consequence and doesn’t happen. We are sorely mistaken.
Doing the will of God will often mean that there will be a headwind directly at us. The seas will become impossible, and we may even be driven back. But special comfort comes, when we realize we are being watched. Jesus is doing constant surveillance on us, and he even sees our toil on the oars. What a precious promise.
“Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age”