Our small group discussed Mark 6:45-52 this evening and this verse stood out to me so much. Grief is a journey, we all know that and hear it so often. Life is full of moments where we are going along and things are going wonderfully and there are times in our life where we feel like we are dragging our feet through the mud getting nowhere fast. The disciples had just gotten in the boat after the feeding of the 5,000+, they were worn, moody, tired, weary, hungry(because they were busy serving, not eating) and a little done for. They were frustrated with the fact that Jesus wanted them to get in the boat and get across the sea in the wind and storm. It says, "and he say that they were making headway painfully. I do no think I have ever read that verse and it stick out to me so much, like it did tonight. Since May of 2012 I have felt like it is a constant battle to seek the good in our situation, it is a constant battle to not be jealous of others, a constant battle to keep trusting the Lord, a constant struggle and tiring journey of enduring all God has asked us to go through. I see now that we have been making headway painfully. The storm was rough, the winds were and yet they were making headway. They weren't stuck in one spot, they weren't drowning, they weren't capsized or washed ashore, they didn't die out in the storm or get lost. They were making headway painfully. I suppose there have been times over the last year or so that I completely felt like throwing in the towel, giving up on Christ and just forget about trust, faith, his goodness. I know that each day, each hard moment, each weeping night, it is painful, but it is progress. I continue to make headway painfully. Jesus was watching them from afar and it says He meant to pass by them. At first that seems insensitive and rude. It makes you wonder if Christ was being super selfish and didn't want to deal with the disciples because of their crappy attitude or if he just needed some alone time or what, but I realized this evening as we all discussed that just like when we as parents, let our children learn through their hardship, their experience, we make them keep trying even when they don't want to, so they will LEARN. It seems like Jesus was doing just that. Making the disciples push through and make headway painfully, for a purpose. Always for a purpose.
So, maybe you are in the middle of some raging storm, you're wondering what the point of it all is, where is the life preserver, is Jesus even there? He is. Maybe He is passing you by, for the moment, because if you read further you will see that he didn't abandon them when they called out to him. He was there, he calmed the storm, he got them to the other side. He always knows what he is doing and he purposes every part of the journey. The storm you are in, well, if you are trusting him, even when it doesn't make sense, if you are still rowing, not giving up, if you are holding on tight and just can't seem to see the light at the end of the tunnel yet, keep holding on. You are making headway painfully. You are. Remember, it is in the painful headway that gets us to the place where we SEE Christ. It is coming. (As I type this, I am reminding myself that I have to believe this word, I have to actually take in the promise that I am making headway, I am still wondering where the shore is, the light at the end of the tunnel, the reason we are still in the tunnel...)
Painful headway leads to Christ's storm calming, shore arriving, fear eliminating presence.
and isn't that all we really need? Is him?