Matthew 6:19-21 (ESV)
Lay Up Treasures in Heaven
19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Mark 6:45-52 (ESV)
Jesus Walks on the Water
45 Immediately he made his disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. 46 And after he had taken leave of them, he went up on the mountain to pray. 47 And when evening came, the boat was out on the sea, and he was alone on the land. 48 And he saw that they were making headway painfully, for the wind was against them. And about the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. He meant to pass by them, 49 but when they saw him walking on the sea they thought it was a ghost, and cried out, 50 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.” 51 And he got into the boat with them, and the wind ceased. And they were utterly astounded, 52 for they did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened.
“Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid!” (Mark 6:50)
Even those who love entertaining know the relief of the door closing behind the last guest. You can finally begin to clean up, unwind, and get some sleep.
Jesus must have felt something like this after having miraculously fed more than five thousand people on a deserted hillside. He just had to get away and pray. So he sent his disciples ahead of him in a boat, dismissed the crowds, and headed for the hills to spend time alone with his Father.
As he was praying, he could see his disciples struggling against the wind, making little progress. Perhaps he saw in this image a metaphor for their understanding of his messiahship. They had witnessed so many of his miracles, but they still struggled to understand who he really was.
If only these disciples could learn to come to Jesus the way he had just gone to his Father! If only they could see him as their Redeemer! Perhaps these occasional glimpses into his glory would hope them trust him more. He knew it would take a while, but Jesus was committed to them, so he didn’t mind. So he interrupted his prayer to give them a clearer vision. He came to them on the water, in the midst of the storm, and told them, “Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid” (Mark 6:50).
We too can have a hard time seeing Jesus as our Messiah and grasping our need for him. Are there ways you seem to be rowing against the wind? Is something gnawing at the back of your mind? Bring it before him now. Perhaps in his wisdom he will wait, keeping his eyes on you for a more opportune moment. Or maybe he will reveal himself to you more deeply. He may even climb into your boat and still the wind. Whatever happens, try your best to trust in Jesus’ power and provision. Quiet your heart so that you can hear him tell you, “It is I, do not be afraid.” Surrender your concerns to Jesus. Let him meet your needs in the way he knows best.
Lord Jesus, help me to find my courage in you, no matter my circumstances. Right now, I set aside fear and doubt. Lord, I trust you. Amen.