Have you been trying, yet not succeeding? Have you been giving your best effort and not receiving your best results? Are you frustrated with the process? Disappointed in your progress? Disheartened by your position? Worried about what will happen next?
What do you do now? What you do now can be best guided by the examples of Jesus’ disciples found in Mark 6: 45-51.
“Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. After leaving them, he went up on a mountainside to pray.
Later that night, the boat was in the middle of the lake, and he was alone on land. He saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them. Shortly before dawn he went out to them, walking on the lake. He was about to pass by them, but when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought he was a ghost. They cried out, because they all saw him and were terrified.
Immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” Then he climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down.”
The wind dying down in your life sounds pretty darn good right about now, doesn’t it? All your worry being calmed, woah, that would be delightful, right? Okay, this one is for you!
The disciples were out on a boat in the middle of the night. They were trying to row to shore but there was a wild head wind and they were going nowhere.
Oh there you go, that’s how you feel. Rowing and going nowhere. Caught in the middle of a storm. See why I chose this story?
Jesus was sitting up on a mountainside, watching them out on the lake where he saw them struggling and he began walking out to them.
Now don’t miss this, Jesus was watching their struggle. He had positioned himself high to see them. Jesus is now positioned high with the Father, and he sees you my sister. He sees your struggle. He understands your frustration. He knows you’re growing tired. He knows you’re questioning. He knows every thought you have entertained and scenario you have considered.
He has seen it all. His eye is always on you. You have never been in this alone. Never.
As he saw their struggle, he walked out on the water towards them but verse 48 says “He was ABOUT TO PASS BY THEM.” Did you get that? He saw their struggle because he was watching them. He walked out towards them, but he was going to pass them by. He was going to just walk by them. Wait what?
Can Jesus be near you and just walk on by you? Maybe that’s exactly how you feel. He was here, but he didn’t do anything for you.
Why would Jesus walk out to the disciples in their struggle with the intention of just walking by? I wonder if Jesus was just checking. He was just positioning himself to be nearby.
Remember when the kids were babies, and you would just walk by their room as they became restless. You would stand by the door to watch them, to be near them? Yeah, that’s what Jesus was doing.
Right now, Jesus is walking towards you. He has seen your struggle. He has positioned himself near you. His presence is with you. Knowing this should bring us great comfort, but the truth is sometimes we miss it. We miss that Jesus is in the storm with us. We miss that he has his eye ever on us. We even mistake his presence for punishment. We fear condemnation, so we hide.
Why is it we think if Jesus really knew my doubt, if he knew my sin, if he knew my thoughts, he wouldn’t come near me. Girl listen to me, he knew every jacked up choice you would ever make before you ever made it, and it was all on his mind when he hung on that cross. He took it all on so you wouldn’t have to pay the penalty for your sin. He took it all on so you wouldn’t have to hide in your shame today.
This has already been lifted from you. There’s no condemnation in Christ Jesus. None. You can stop hiding from God now. He knows your personal struggle and he’s heading straight for you, just to be near you.
This is exactly what was happening for the disciples. Jesus was positioning himself to be nearby. He was making his presence known, but they missed it. They look out and see this figure walking on the water and it scared them. They begin crying out in fear … and guess what y’all … it was their cries that brought Jesus to the boat.
If you’re in the middle of a storm. If you’re struggling, WHY AREN’T YOU FULL ON CRYING OUT TO JESUS? It is your surrendered cries for help that will bring him to your boat. Jesus, get in my boat. I don’t want to do this on my own. My way hasn’t worked, I need your way.
Honestly, I will often try everything, and my everything will have to fail miserably, before I’m flat on my face crying out to Jesus. How foolish of me. I will worry my way through a problem and make it a whole lot worse in the process.
Are you the same way? Hey, let’s get better at this together. Let’s start seeking him earlier. Let’s humbly cry out to him first, remembering our cries bring him directly to our boat.
Are you worried about something right now? What does that worry cause you to do? Really, what do you do when worry is present? Do you play out worst case scenario in your head? Do you pace the floor? Do you lay on the couch overwhelmed in indecision? Do you hide in the pantry with cheese puffs and ding dongs? Do you grab the bottle of wine? Do you call your girlfriends and tell all the dirty details of how bad this is?
I looked up the definition of worry, and here’s what it says: Worry is an active state of agitated uneasiness and restless apprehension. BaBam. Is that you? Is your mugshot by that definition?
What is your worry “thang”? God wants you to worry different. He wants your thoughts and feelings of worry to be an alarm. An alarm to pray. An alarm to call out to him to get in your boat.
So here it is. Worry shows up. The storm is growing, the waves are crashing, and your little boat is really unsteady. You’re worried you won’t make it. You’re worried no one will help you row. You’re worried you’re going to be left alone. You’re worried this is all just going to get even worse.
Worry is here … that’s an alarm. (beep, beep, beep) Alarm rings, it’s time to pray. Girl, hit your knees. Stop everything else and pray.
W.O.R.R.Y. – Watch Our Redeemer Rescue You
Cry out to Jesus. He already knows about your struggle. He knows exactly what is happening and he’s positioned himself nearby. He’s already walking towards you, but your surrendered cries will bring him to your boat.
I don’t know about you, but I need Jesus IN MY BOAT. I need him calming my storms and charting my direction. Don’t you? How do we get him in the boat? CRY OUT TO HIM. When the worry alarm rings, we stop and pray, then we watch our redeemer rescue you!
Oh come on, you’ve tried everything else haven’t you? You’ve tried worrying. You’ve tried fixing. You’ve tried ignoring. You’ve tried it all … but have you tried a fully surrendered cry to Jesus?
Maybe it’s been a while. Maybe you’ve forgotten exactly what he can do and you’ve gotten all wrapped up in your own ways and your own power that you forgot about Jesus’ mighty ability to do miraculous works in your life.
Stop limiting him. He CAN do what you have dismissed as completely impossible.
W.O.R.R.Y. – Watch Our Redeemer Rescue You