“Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.”
Deut. 31:8, NLT
You can go to the British Museum in London, England and view for yourself old nautical charts that were made in the early 1500s. Written on them are things like, “Here be fiery scorpions” and “Here be giants” or the classic, “Here be dragons.” These notations were written I suppose, to discourage any future kind of exploration.
At this early point a man named Sir John Franklin wrote on each map, “Here is God.” His sincerity was well noted– and it strengthened the sailors, and helped them to trust in a discovery that would lead to salvation for many.
“As evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” 36 So they took Jesus in the boat and started out, leaving the crowds behind (although other boats followed). 37 But soon a fierce storm came up. High waves were breaking into the boat, and it began to fill with water.”
There lots of waves, plenty enough to go around. The disciples, most of them who are grizzled fisherman, are just starting to realize that their boat isn’t equipped with any life-jackets. They are in deep trouble, and I suppose many “crossed” themselves and prepared to die. Everything now is lost.
When death comes to visit it can be quite sobering. It clarifies so much. If you’ve ever been at this point, you will understand what I am saying.
“But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” 39 Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.”
Where is Jesus? Look! There he is–sleeping on a pillow. “How can He sleep, when the world is going to end?” They wake up him up, and pointedly say, “Don’t you even care? We are at the very point of death!”
Shaking off His slumber, Jesus stands. He looks at the vicious waves, and then announces, “Be at peace, be still.” Immediately the storm automatically ‘shuts down.’ There is no reluctance, no hesitation. The waves become calm and subdued, instantly. The Greek word he uses is “to be muzzled,” which is exactly the word he uses when he binds the demon several verses later.
Jesus turns, He focuses on His own disciples. “Why did you doubt?” He asks. And they can say nothing. “Where is your faith?” he asks. And again, they can say nothing. They’re overwhelmed at the authority of Jesus. They’re more amazed at him, then they ever were at the storm.
Confusion often rules over us, when desperation is present. But yet, this is not totally true, confusion will enter in, when everything we see is impossible. We glance back at Jesus, and we see and discover His power and significance. Rightly so, when our storm overwhelms us, it’s his chance to prove himself, and to show us who we really are–or rather, who we aren’t.
The disciples should have by now, realized the full strength of Jesus. Our Lord was so very tired. And yet before he went to sleep, he told his followers that he would bring them to the opposite side of the lake. Being drowned in the middle of the lake was never a factor, nor was it in his plans.
Our lives should be focused on Jesus leading us through to the other side. He is in our tiny little boat, and yet we struggle with such humongous waves. They threaten to cripple and completely dismantle us, and besides, so much water is getting into our boat. And unless he gets directly involved, we’re going to sink like a rock!
We won’t always travel through calm waters.
There will be definite times when we discover peace and confidence, and things will be fairly easy. Dangers that will visit us, and yet are not really a problem. But rain or shine, we are His children. We don’t know why, but he really does love us. We are his “property” and we must believe that we belong to him, and he’s fully dedicated to bring us all the way home.