A trip to Marshall County, West Virginia turned into quite the journey for me yesterday. Following the advice of Google map for a “quicker” trip we went off the beaten path and then Glory! We were in God’s country for sure with the elevation alone. Mile upon mile of one lane farm road along scenic river beds to the top of the mountains made for awesome views and a two hour delay in getting to our destination. At one point I glanced over toward my coworker’s iPad and realized that the little blue dot that locates our vehicle on the satellite was in the middle of nowhere! No roads, no directional advice, just tan space surrounding the little blue blip.
I’ve had that same feeling spiritually…
I knew the intended destination God had me on. I’d prayed about it, had peace about and knew that I was going that way, but in the midst of the journey I would find myself alone, Christ nowhere to be found and struggling with doubt that I had heeded the Word of God at all. Been there? It’s an uneasy feeling. My main concern yesterday was not if we were going to the right place; my job required me to do a site visit to Cameron Middle High School. My concern was that “Thelma and Louise” (my coworker and I) had resources enough (aka gas) to get me out of the tan space and back onto the directional blue line that took us to Cameron.
Long before GPS and satellite the disciples found themselves in much the same predicament. Mark 6:45 said “And straightway he constrained his disciples to get into the ship, and to go to the other side before unto Bethsaida, while he sent away the people.”
Jesus had given the disciples clear direction, “You’re going to the other side.” But along the way they found themselves in the middle of the sea, in the darkness of night with this queasy feeling in the pit of their stomach, “Somethin’ ain’t right.” A storm had come up and the wind was contrary to them, and then out of nowhere they see Jesus walking on the water. But they don’t know it’s Jesus! And then in verse 50 they hear the voice of the Savior “Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid.”
There were reasons
It doesn’t say that Jesus told the disciples why they were going to Bethsaida. He said go, and obedient servants that they were they got in the boat and went. Being in the will of God doesn’t mean there won’t be trouble. Just ask Jesus, they crucified Him. The disciples were following God’s plan, but here they were in the middle of the sea, in the darkness of a storm. Some of the stormiest times of my life have been when God was doing the most. Don’t assume because the “winds of life are contrary” that you’re not in the will of God.
There were reactions.
51 And he went up unto them into the ship; and the wind ceased: and they were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered.
Out of nowhere Jesus had come, climbs into the boat, calms the storm and their reaction was shock! The God of Heaven, the Creator of the Universe just walked on water, calmed the storm, climbs into the boat and says (in my words) “chill out guys, it’s Me.” Can you hear the “woah Dude…” When God does something extreme in your life our reaction is sometimes not exuberance and joy, it “eek! And Jiminy Cricket!!!!” We’re just amazed that it happens.
There was a rescue
God had a plan. As close as the disciples were to the Lord, that still didn’t let them in on it. Sometimes we’re just not going to have that insight. It’s not until they get to the other side that they see the plan unfold. Vs. 56 ~ “And whithersoever he entered, into villages, or cities, or country, they laid the sick in the streets, and besought him that they might touch if it were but the border of his garment: and as many as touched him were made whole.”
The plan… the rescue of souls. Is that not what this journey is about?
We went to Cameron yesterday to work on a project in that community that is getting their people healthy. It’s fun and they’re excited. So am I! But not nearly as excited about Cameron as I am about the journey that Christ has me on here. A journey to rescue souls – – now that’s an exciting trip. Will you join me?