A Divine Perspective
February 3, 2021
And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there. But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary. Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea (Matthew 14:23-25).
No doubt you are familiar with the old adage, “You can’t see the forest for the trees.” Some call it ‘tunnel vision’ or ‘myopia’ (nearsighted; lack of foresight or discernment). We are often myopic when facing a crisis - we are consumed with the crisis until it passes. Though it is difficult for us, in every situation we need to see the forest and the trees. We need to see the tree in the midst of the forest, in other words we need to grasp the bigger picture.
The disciples had to row about four miles from Bethsaida to Capernaum. It should have taken an hour or so. But they took their time because it was night and there was so much to talk about from the day’s events. A sudden gale force wind swept through the canyon and across the Sea of Galilee. The disciples worked at staying afloat for many hours. They pulled at the oars through the night with the seas breaking over them and the wind howling all around them.
Mark tells us Jesus saw them in danger hours before He came walking to them on the water. As stated before, this was designed to teach the disciples to trust in God no matter their situation. They knew Jesus could save them, but at that moment He was not with them and that caused them greater panic.
Here’s the bigger picture. No only were the disciples to learn to trust in Jesus no matter their situation, they were to trust in Jesus even when He was not present with them. This is a lesson for us as well. Mark 16:15-20 tells us the disciples went out ministering the Gospel of Jesus Christ after He had ascended and was seated at the right hand of the Father in heaven. They would face opposition, dangerous situations, even death, but Jesus was watching over them from heaven’s throne.
Often we are in distress, struggling to live and minister. But Jesus is watching over us - interceding and intervening in life and in death. The Lord was working with them (Mark 6:20). He is working with us as well to strengthen our faith, build our character, heighten our joy in Him, and to demonstrate to the world that He indeed is the Lord and Savior sent by God to save us. I am with you always, even to the end of the age (Matthew 28:20) is not a nice, spiritual, sentiment. It is a promise that Jesus Christ, through His Holy Spirit, is with us, guiding us, providing for us, protecting us, and empowering us to do God’s will in ministering the Gospel of the Kingdom until He comes again or we go to be with Him in glory.
“Thank You Lord, that even when You are not with us - You are still with us. We will face trials and tribulations in this world, but we will not face them alone. Knowing You are with us and watching over us gives me great confidence and peace. Thank You. Amen.”