Earlier this week, I attended church where a pastor’s sermon was on “What to do when the wind is against you.” I’ve noticed this week that many people seem to be going through tough times in their lives. This sermon was on a time when the disciples also endured trials in their lives – Mark 6:45-53:
45Immediately Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. 46After leaving them, he went up on a mountainside to pray. 47When evening came, the boat was in the middle of the lake, and he was alone on land. 48He saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them. About the fourth watch of the night he went out to them, walking on the lake. He was about to pass by them, 49but when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought he was a ghost. They cried out, 50because they all saw him and were terrified. Immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” 51Then he climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down. They were completely amazed, 52for they had not understood about the loaves; their hearts were hardened. 53When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret and anchored there.
What’s most interesting from this entire story, apart from the fact that Jesus did come to rescue the disciples, just as He does us, is the fact that Jesus was up on the mountain praying while the disciples were on the lake, being battered and tossed by the wind that was against them. Yet, Jesus never took His eyes off of them (nor does He take His eyes off of His children).
Just as we are also battered by the winds of our lives, the disciples, who were closest to Jesus, also had to endure trials to strengthen their faith. The story begins following the feeding of the 5,000; followed by Jesus commanding the disciples to immediately go ahead of him to the other side. Meanwhile, Jesus goes up on the mountain to pray (this could be a whole other sermon: if Jesus needs to pray, how much more do we need to pray?) Later, during the third watch (3 AM or so), Jesus went to them, walking on water.
By best estimate then, about 9 hours or so passed between the time Jesus sent the disciples across the lake and when He came upon them on the water. It’s interesting then, that EVEN WHEN we follow the Lord’s Will, we may STILL endure trials in our lives. But as the pastor mentioned during his sermon, it is critical that, like the disciples, we “keep on rowing,” even against the wind. They had received guidance from Jesus, and faithfully attacked their mission.
When you know that you are following God’s Will for your life, don’t be surprised that you might have to fight against the wind on occasion. The times when we struggle will only make our faith stronger because God ALWAYS gets us through.
Take time to pray every day, and keep on rowing. Jesus has His eyes on you and will not let you endure more than you are capable of withstanding.