Jesus “made His disciples get into the boat.” I understand this to mean that Jesus forced them, He compelled, constrained them to get into the boat and set sail. Surely, if there ever was a promise that a mission would be successful, this should have been it. These disciples were literally forced to put out to sea! They were compelled by a command they couldn’t refuse – Jesus had told them to go. If they were ever going to be safe, secure and successful this should have been the time and place. There was no doubt about it. They were where Jesus told them to be, when He told them to be there. They were away from the distractions and dangers of the world. Yet, as I read the account, at first it appears that in obeying Jesus they actually put themselves at the greatest risk of danger, disappointment and failure – He sent them straight into a storm. And what a storm it was! It was such a storm that even these experienced men of the sea had never seen its like before.
Have you ever found yourself in a similar situation? I certainly have. There have been times in my life where I have felt commanded, compelled even, to do something that I didn’t understand – to put out to sea. No doubt, I believed I was doing so at the will and word of my Master. It was this belief that gave me confidence and assurance, but then my confidence and assurance was suddenly blown away by a raging storm. The sea raged, the wind blew and the waves crashed. It seemed like what I had set out to do would end up in a shipwreck.
“Was I mistaken? Was my mission to indeed a complete and utter failure?” It depends on why I had set sail. Did I cast off at His command or by my own will? You see, He sent me on my mission for His purpose. Did I have another? He wanted to meet me on the sea. Did I only wish for a smooth trip? He wanted to teach me that there is rest to be found even in the midst of a storm. Was I only looking for a peaceful place – a port of personal rest? In the end, even though I may not have found what I went looking for, it was worth it all to simply catch a vision of Him walking on the waters of my storm. It was worth it all to hear Him say, “It is I, do not be afraid.”
Don’t resist what you believe to be the Master’s command. He may not send you to the places others consider to be safe, secure or even successful, but obedience to His command will bring greater riches than you could ever imagine – the power to see Jesus in the middle of the storms of this life.