The disciples are in a boat on the Sea of Galilee after Jesus feeds well over 5000 people having only a small basket of fish and a couple loaves of bread. Jesus has sent them off so He could get up on the mountainside to pray, spending time with God His Father. What’s so bad about that? Sounds fine to me.
But then, all heavens break loose! ‘Who turned on the sky-fans? We’re going down!’ Mark 6:48 says that ‘(Jesus) saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them.’ An ill wind is blowing! Friends of ours were visiting Israel near the shore of the Sea of Galilee. Was a nice calm day until the wind changed in the blink-of-an-eye, and a storm came barreling through. Panic ensued. People were running for cover. Our friends were literally falling all over each other to find shelter. Unfortunately, the wife twisted her body as people fell on her causing one of her hips to shatter, necessitating two major surgeries in two countries. Certainly an ill wind blowing her way that day.
Have the winds turned against you? No longer welcome but wild and ominous. Then spend a moment in this story. Jesus sees all that’s happening to His own. The disciples’ struggles and fears. He knows all about it. Why does He allow us to grapple with the elements? To battle with what appears insurmountable? I don’t know. I just know that He has higher purposes beyond my comprehension and understanding. Answers I’ll not receive in this life. Things I will need to accept by faith in order to move forward, not getting stuck in the unknown and unknowable.
What the disciples learn that day is, as spooky as life can be(they thought He was a ghost!), that Jesus cares. He helps us. Loves us. We can trust Him even without any decent answers coming our way. Ill winds will blow but Jesus is there for us. Tough times lose half their heft when we know that someone loves us and is there for us. Right?
Jesus tells His disciples this–‘Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid. Then He climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down'(vs. 50-51). See what I mean?
Prayer: We trust you, Lord. No matter what, we’re going to believe in you. In His name. Amen.