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9.08.2009

The Other Side

"35) On that day, when evening came, He said to them, "Let us go over to the other side."36)Leaving the crowd, they took Him along with them in the boat, just as He was; and other boats were with Him. 37) And there arose a fierce gale of wind, and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling up. 38) Jesus Himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; 1) They came to the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gerasenes." Mark 4:35-38a & 5:1, NASB

Did you see it? No? Let's read it again.

"35) On that day, when evening came, He said to them, "Let us go over to the other side." 36) Leaving the crowd, they took Him along with them in the boat, just as He was; and other boats were with Him. 37) And there arose a fierce gale of wind, and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling up. 38) Jesus Himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; 1) They came to the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gerasenes." Mark 4:35-38a & 5:1, NASB



See it that time? Still no? Okay, let me help.

"He said to His them, 'Let us go over to the other side."

Yea, I know, it's an easy phrase to overlook, but these few words are filled with much promise. Let me set the stage for you. Jesus had been preaching and teaching all day on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee. When evening had come, He gathered His disciples together in order to go over to the eastern shore for a time of rest.

Jesus, knowing there was a storm on the horizon, did not say to the disciples, "Alright guys, we're gonna board the ship, but we're only going to be able to go half way across the Sea of Galilee because there is a horrible storm coming. So..., once we get to the half way point we're going to turn around and come back." No, that's not what He said at all!

Instead, Jesus, knowing there was a storm on the horizon, said to His disciples, "Let us go over to the other side." He had every intention of going through the storm with His disciples and He had every intention of making it safely to the other side.

Was He worried? No.

Was He afraid? No.

Did He decide to cancel the trip because He knew a fierce gale of wind was about to blow across the Sea of Galilee causing the boat to be tossed to and fro? No.

Did Jesus think this voyage across the Sea of Galilee, with its approaching storm, would stretch His disciples a little too much and decide it best to not make them endure it? No.

Jesus was neither worried nor afraid. In fact, He slept soundly in the stern of the boat. Yes, He knew the winds would howl and the waves would be monstrous . He knew the storm would cause the disciples to fear and question His authority, yet He still made them board the boat that day. Why? Because He knew this storm would develop character in them; He knew the outcome of making them ride those waves was far greater than allowing them to cower on the shore. Jesus knew this storm would increase their faith as they saw, firsthand, His power displayed when He spoke a hush over the storm.

This group of men, if you'll remember, was for the most part made up of a band of fishermen who had, I'm sure, experienced raging waters and strong gusts of winds on many occasions in the past. But, unlike the storms of the past, this storm was taylor-made for them. The storm that raged on this day was for the purpose of pushing them beyond where their faith lay at that very moment in time. God told the waves to swell and the winds to rage for the purpose of teaching the disciples the value of leaning on Jesus.

The most beautiful part of this passage to me is the very fact that when Jesus called them to get in the boat with Him, He knew they would make it safely to the other side. His very instructions were for them to get in and go to the other side; not stop and turn around, not cower in fear, but go to the other side.

Like the disciples, God calls us to go through storms. Our storms are not for the purpose of causing us harm, but rather to teach us the value of leaning on Him for all things. Jesus knew exactly how much of the storm His disciples were able to bear and hushed the winds and calmed the waves at just the right moment; His moment.

Are you going through a storm right now? Are you being tossed to and fro? Rest assured that your Savior will calm the waves and hush the seas at exactly the right time. Until then, lean on Him and cling to the promise that you will make it to the other side.


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2 Lovely Thoughts Shared:

Kristen said...

beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing and it is so timely for me right now too!

Jenn @ Beautiful Calling said...

it is amazing hwo much we miss when we are only looking at the bigger picture or where the story is going without spending time to consider each sentace, each word...thanks for sharing!