Can’t See The Storm For The Trees
Posted on May 15, 2019 by Erin Culleny in Freedom Fighters
“Then He saw them straining at rowing, for the wind was against them. Now about the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea, and would have passed them by.” Mark 6:48 (NKJV)
It had been one of the privileges I took very seriously, getting to lead Saturday morning devotions during Colony Reunion weekend at America’s Keswick, but this year I held back on raising my hand…and I’m glad that I did. It gave me a chance to hear Pastor Noah Lang walk us through a passage from Matthew 14:22-33. For a lot of us this is a familiar passage of Scripture but as he began to cover the ins and outs of what is going on behind the scenes while Jesus walks on water a thought popped into my mind, “No matter how much I study Scripture, sometimes I just don’t see the forest for the trees.” Now in my defense I just finished a whole year of Biblical Doctrine studies so I am a little fried. Anyway…
Pastor Noah gave us a list of things that we should be able to glean as we learn to survive life’s storms. Stuff like knowing that ultimate purpose that everything God puts in lives is for us to come to a more complete knowledge of and love for Jesus Christ. And that the storms in our lives should move us to prayer, faith and understanding and that the results of storms deepen our knowledge of and relationship with Jesus, we are moved to worshiping Him in a better way after each storm. But then something hit me in his explanation of how storms move us to understanding that made me not so fried anymore.
Back in Mark 4:35-41 Jesus is in the boat, during a storm, with His disciples, sleeping. The disciples are in a panic, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” Now it wouldn’t it be funny (sorta) if Jesus rose His head and said “Nope” before He says “Peace, be still”? After all, Jesus needed His sleep too. Jesus will, however question their faith and they will say to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!”
So here we are, at my opening verses from Mark 6:48. The account is also told in Matthew 14:22-33. We got us a boat, twelve disciples, a storm but we’ll see Jesus walking on the water during that storm. Now somewhere along the line we seem to gravitate towards Peter but in this case I wanna go to my opening verse today from Mark 6:48. We read in there that Jesus was gonna just pass them by. What? Don’t we sing “Pass me not O’ gentle Savior”? Why was Jesus gonna just simply pass them by?
Well I guess we should understand that Jesus didn’t just come to save us but to fulfill what has been written of Him in Scripture.
“Your way was in the sea, Your path in the great waters, And Your footsteps were not know” Psalm 77:19
“He alone spreads out the heavens, And treads on the waves of the sea” Job 9:8
“Have you entered the springs of the sea? Or have you walked in search of the depths” Job 38:16
Now this just covers the walking on the water part of the story, when we get to why was Jesus gonna pass them by it gets a bit interesting. And its gonna involve two men at the Transfiguration. Moses asks YHVH in Exodus 33:18 to “Please, show me Your glory.” And YHVH will respond, “I will make all My goodness pass before you.” But YHVH wouldn’t show Moses His face, “For no man shall see Me, and live.”
Then we have Elijah and this question, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” After a little whimpering, Elijah will be told to, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the LORD.” A compliant Elijah stands, “And behold, the LORD passed by” (1 Kings 19:11) Then there was a still small voice. Now to go back to the boat while Jesus walks on the water.
Jesus will stretch out His hand and lift Peter from the water and they will both go into the boat. I would imagine that we will hear that still voice again, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” Then the disciples will declare, “Truly You are the Son of God.” It’s like everyone finally saw the trees for the storms.
Sometimes life throws me into a boat in the midst of a storm and they can make me lose sense of my purpose towards Jesus just like the disciples did. To simply trust and rest in Him, all the while in worship of Him in everything that is allowed to happen to me. Do you feel this way? I hope in your own understanding of Him that you do too. Amen?
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris, a graduate of The Colony of Mercy (11-2003) has been married for 25+ years (Kathy), has a married son (Kevin) and a daughter in college (Karen). He has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008.
Think About This: “When I understand that everything happening to me is to make me more Christlike, it resolves a great deal of anxiety.” — Aiden Wilson Tozer
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich. – 2 Corinthians 8:9
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the doctrinal and theological views held by America’s Keswick.