Mark 6:47-56 (NRSV)
When evening came, the boat was out on the sea, and he was alone on the land. When he saw that they were straining at the oars against an adverse wind, he came towards them early in the morning, walking on the sea. He intended to pass them by. But when they saw him walking on the sea, they thought it was a ghost and cried out; for they all saw him and were terrified. But immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.” Then he got into the boat with them and the wind ceased. And they were utterly astounded, for they did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened.
Psalm 105 (NRSV)
O give thanks to the Lord, call on his name,
make known his deeds among the peoples.
Sing to him, sing praises to him;
tell of all his wonderful works.
Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
Seek the Lord and his strength;
seek his presence continually.
Remember the wonderful works he has done,
his miracles, and the judgments he has uttered,
O offspring of his servant Abraham,
children of Jacob, his chosen ones.
During the week we strain at the oars with the disciples in Mark 6:48. The storms of our life – our cares and current events – seem insurmountable. How can we possibly live the life of courage promised by Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection when we are embattled at school, work, and in society? That worry-free life preached on Sunday seems an unattainable lifestyle during the workweek. The storm has our sole focus such that we, like the disciples, do not recognize our Comforter walking alongside; we are more ready to think another concern or terror is in store.
But Jesus comes to his disciples and to us in the midst of our storms and as soon as Christ sets foot in the disciples’ boat – the storm ceases.
What have you struggled with over this past week? Has there been an insurmountable storm that has demanded your whole attention? Jesus is walking alongside you. A way to see Him and to take your focus off the storm is to remember ways that God has been with you in the past. Psalm 105 is the perfect example for this “thought redirection.” By listing off all the ways that God has delivered Israel in the past, the psalmist helps the reader remember God’s faithfulness and turns it into praise and comfort.
For today’s prayer, remember and list all the ways God has been walking alongside you, working in the midst of your storms. Then read Psalm 148, which begins:
Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord from the heavens;
praise him in the heights!
Praise him, all his angels;
praise him, all his host!