2010-02-13 - Being in the Boat
Mark 6:45, And immediately, He made His disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side to Bethsaida, while He Himself was sending the multitude away.
It is an interesting consideration that Jesus seems to compel the disciples to get into the boat and leave Him alone with the people, and so He could get alone and pray (Mark 6:46). As we read the passage further, we find that the disciples had a hard go of it. They were straining at the oars, 6:48. These were seasoned fishermen who were struggling with the storm that had come upon them. However, they were where they were because Jesus had made His disciples get into the boat and go. Struggle as they might where they were, they were right where Jesus wanted them to be.
They made very little progress, it seems. Maybe they were losing the battle against the wind after all Jesus walked on the water out to them, and was about to pass them (6:48). They could not have been making much progress, if any. They might have even been going backward, for all we know. The disciples were doing what they were told, but getting nowhere. It might be a little like what you feel you experience, or maybe do experience. You are right where the Lord would have you be, but it seems like you are going backwards or making no progress. This was the plight of the disciples. We are still to pull away at the oars of our lives. We are still to struggle. We dont count our progress in achievements, as much as in faithfulness to what we are called to do. Being faithful to Gods law, to His calling, and the purity of our faith - is progress in itself. It is not the work itself, but the attention to a true and authentic living of our faith, that the Lord notices.
Maybe we struggle in prayer. It seems that our prayers are not even heard. We are called to pray, and believe that the Lord hears our prayers, as He has promised (Psalm 4:3). Maybe we are seeking to win others to Christ and make disciples. We know we cant succeed without the Holy Spirit, and so we labor on, faithfully doing what we are called to do as ambassadors of the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20). It is not the success, but the faithfulness, that we are to have in view concerning ourselves. The disciples were making little progress, and yet it doesnt matter. They were where the Lord had called them to be. If you will read the passage, you will find that Jesus does not call them into question or reprove them.
We dont even see, in the passage, that the disciples had any fear concerning the storm. The Lord had sent them there. The ship is tossed, but they press on. So it is with us. We press on, when life is tossed. We row against the wind, and we do not lose heart. Jesus knows all about the waves around us. Let us be content to be where the Lord would have us to be, seeking to do His will in all things, and trusting Him for the results.
Soli Deo Gloria,