Thursday, February 24
Days string out and knot together as if knitted with a ball of yarn. Endless multitudes pursue the teacher for miracles and teaching, giving Him little time to rest. As He attempts some leisure time on the hillside with His followers, another crowd ensues.
Now, the teacher is faced with feeding five thousand plus people with a mere five barley loaves and two small fish. Another miracle. Another knot.
As the men in the crowd realize this teacher is the Prophet foretold in the Scriptures, they attempt to crown Him their king.
The teacher has other ideas.
He slips away from the crowd to the seclusion of another hillside, seeking that familiar solitude with the Father, to untie the knots and find rest.
The disciples wait on the shore for Jesus to join them. The sun’s bronze glaze on the lake has shriveled to a sliver. They can wait no longer. So, they set out for Capernaum...without Jesus.
As Jesus prays on the hillside, silence surrounds Him; as the disciples row across the lake, a squall surrounds them.
Shafts of lightning split the darkness as cymbal-claps of thunder split the air.
The tempest cants the vessel, tossing it about with the rise and fall of the surging waves. Foaming crests heave over them.
Squinting through the stinging pelts of water, the disciples blink incessantly. As they rub their blurry eyes, terror shrouds their souls. A man walking on the water. The stories of the sea serving up its swallowed souls come rushing to their minds. A ghost! It must be a ghost!
Over all the turbulence booms the voice of Jesus, “It is I; do not be afraid.” (John 6:20 NKJV)
Oh, that trusted voice! Relieved beyond belief, they welcome Jesus into their vessel.
In a heartbeat, their vessel rests on the other side of the lake, in a safe harbor.
Great story. But did you see yourself anywhere in all that?
Have you ever set sail into some new venture of your own making, without waiting on the Lord’s time schedule, and found yourself in the midst of a raging storm?
Sometimes, we think the Lord is taking too long and we launch out without Him. But the Word tells us...
* “Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.” (Ps. 27:14 NLT)
* “My soul, wait silently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him.” (Ps. 62:5 NKJV)
* “Yet, the strength of those who wait with hope in the LORD will be renewed.” (Is. 40:31a GOD’S WORD Translation)
Sometimes, Jesus waits for the proper time of arrival, just as He did when Mary and Martha needed Him when Lazarus was sick, that God will receive the glory. As Isaiah said, “Therefore the Lord will wait, that He may be gracious to you; and therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you.” (Is. 30:18a NKJV)
When we encounter times of turbulence, our hearts are tossed from side to side, rising and falling with each wave of crisis. Do we invite Him into our vessel of circumstance or continue on without Him?
David wrote, “Then they cry to the Lord in their trouble, and He saves them. He calms the storm and stills the waves. What a blessing is that stillness as He brings them safely into harbor!” (Ps. 107:28-30 TLB)
Calm may not always immediately surround us, but it can occupy our hearts. We can rest in God’s peace and be harbored in His safety.
The presence of God in the vessel of your heart and your storm makes all the difference in the quality of your existence.
Above all the turbulence in your life, Jesus says to you...