On that day, when evening came, He said to them (His disciples), “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd, they took Him along with them in the boat, just as He was; and other boats were with Him. 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. Jesus Himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” And He got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Hush, be still.” And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm. And He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” They became very much afraid and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?” –Mark 4:35-41
Life is a series of “crossings to the other side”, all within our one life-long journey to eternity. With callings, God is drawing us forward, into His will. If He knows that it’s important for you to get into the boat and cross over to the other side, then it’s often in your best interest not to tell you about the storm that will arise in the middle of your journey. Otherwise, you may not be so willing to get in that boat. Or your trip might be filled with such anxiety, that you’re ready to abandon ship with every gust or wave. If we knew the trials and tribulations life’s choices would bring us to, we’d likely never make them. In 1 Corinthians 13:12 Paul writes:
“For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”
God condescends to our weakness, leading us with limited views of His will for us, until we are strong enough to see the whole picture. He calls us to commitments of marriage, ministry, sacrifice and service. He gifts us with visions and anointings for high purposes. And He often withholds from us the frightening details of our mission’s encounters. God has calculated that, if trouble must be faced, it need not be anticipated. For he knows that He has hidden grace in each occasion, sufficient to overcome.
In Mark 4:35-41, Jesus disciples are simply told: “Let us go over to the other side.”
They're not warned about the terrible storm that nearly capsizes the boat. That information is kept from them. All they need to know is that they are traveling with Jesus, over the lake to the other side. If we knew how often we’d regret marriage, or children, or choices in companions, careers, or churches; if we knew that in the midst of a commitment we made by the Lord’s leading, that we’d regret ever embarking on the journey; we’d have serious second thoughts, and in many cases, we’d never make the right decision. If God had to issue disclaimers and get us to sign off on waivers, rather than to trust Him, the fact is frankly speaking, we’d probably never really follow Him. The dread of tribulation and trials would be too much for us. If we knew that before it was all over we might lose friends, loved ones, social standing, popularity and acceptance, we’d probably never take those first steps in response to God’s call. The fear of loss would be too much to overlook, in order to see the greatness and glory of His ultimate purpose in reaching the other side.
But ask any Christian veteran, who has stayed the course of spiritual warfare through life’s journeys, and they will tell you the same story of God’s power and glory revealed in the midst of the storm-tossed sea.
More on Getting To The Other Side tomorrow, so until then…
Stay On The Path!