“One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and set out. As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!”
He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. “Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples.
In fear and amazement they asked one another, “Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.” Luke 8:22-25
I remember the day like it was yesterday. I had just met Anthony a few weeks prior. Our relationship was blossoming as we were getting to know one another. It was such a blissful time in my life.
So there we were, in my parents living room, with a few loved ones gathered on a chilly winter’s evening. We began to look deeper into the Scripture above.
Anthony asked us all a question.
“Why did the disciples have no reason to fear the storm?”
I reread the Scripture again and again. I put myself in the disciples place. If I were in a little boat in the middle of a huge lake and a vicious storm arose, I too would be terrified. Trust me, I would probably be the first one heading to the other side of the boat where Jesus was having a snooze and tell him to please wake up and, like, do something…anything.
“Why did the disciples truly have nothing to fear?”
Well, yeah, He was Jesus after all. But heck..He was napping in the back of the boat. Fine time to take a nap. What could He possibly do while asleep?
Eventually our little group gathered there raised their arms in surrender. We simply could not figure out why in the world they really had nothing to fear. We had been through every conceivable reason and none of it really made sense.
“Let us cross over the the other side of the lake!”
Ha! There you have it–in all its simplicity. Nothing fancy. No deep spiritual meaning (which I so often try to find).
Jesus already TOLD them what was going to happen. “Let us cross over!” He gave them directions and told them in no uncertain terms where to go.
But. He sure did not promise them that it was going to be easy, did He? Nope. He never said that it would be smooth sailing and an easy passage all the way to the other side.
In the last few weeks I have been thinking about this Scripture a lot. Our family has been through another major change. Some days I have wondered what in the world we are doing. I look outside and see the snow piling high and in my humanness I long for a warmer climate. My little darlings have been struggling with horrible sickness and I wish I could turn back the hands of time. I look to the future and have absolutely no idea how the Lord is going to come through for my family in so many areas.
I doubt. I question. I wonder. I become fearful. My heart grows oh so weary.
“Let us cross over to the other side.”
Then His still small voice calms my anxious heart. His peace which passes all understanding comes and rests in the depths of my being and He reminds me that just as it was with His disciples in the boat that day, so it is with my family…He never promised us an easy journey. Getting to the other side may take all the faith that we can muster on any given day, but He promises us that He will get us there…come what may!
I am so quick to want the easy way out of situations. So many times I want to get to the other side in my turbo-engined boat–efficiently and as fast as is humanly possible, thank you very much. I want to fly across the water at a hundred miles an hour and not encounter any ripples in the water whatsoever. Just get me there in record time, please! But sometimes (no, most times) all God gives me is an ancient rowing boat with half an oar. Forget the flying from point A to point B. Uh-uh…that’s what everyone else seems to do as they whizz past me while I slowly but surely paddle my way to the other side. Paddle. Encounter storms. Pause. Pray. Paddle. Encounter bigger storms. Lose heart. Pray.
Eventually, I do get to the other side. But it is never without storms.
As I reflect on the last two years of our lives and all that has transpired, I think I am finally starting to get something deep in my heart. When I think about the disciples in the boat that day, it all makes perfect sense to me now (yup, I’m a slow learner). God, in all His grace and wisdom allows the storms to come to my shores–He allows the journey to become so trying and so testing that really, all I have is HIM. In His infinite wisdom He allows me to see the view from the lowest valley, only so that when I do eventually reach the mountaintop, I can look back and SEE all that He did to get me to that point. And, He allows my faith to be tested so that when I eventually reach the other side I can declare with all my heart that He is a faithful God!
Crossing over to the other side is never easy, friends.
But one thing I am certain of is that when God calls us by name, when He commands us to cross over to the other side in our individual walks with the Him, we can rest assured that He’s already gone before us–that He’s already reached the destination and is waiting for us on the other side.
My prayer is that when He calls, when He beckons us to “Come, let us go on this journey or that journey,” that we would do it without any hesitation–that our answer would be “Yes” before we even consider the storms which may (or may not) brew.
The journey to the other side? We’ll leave in His capable hands.
“Let us cross over to the other side.” Simply because He said so.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1: 2-4