The Struggle Is RealJon Burgess
“He saw that they were in serious trouble, rowing hard and struggling against the wind and waves. About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. He intended to go past them, but when they saw him walking on the water, they cried out in terror, thinking he was a ghost. They were all terrified when they saw him. But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage! I am here! ” Then he climbed into the boat, and the wind stopped. They were totally amazed,” Mark 6:48-51
Wait? What? What did I just read? This is one of the "double take" passages that require a little more time to digest and a little more dialogue with The Holy Spirit to understand. Jesus saw His disciples were struggling against the storm and yet was going to just walk on by. Let that sink in. Jesus walked on water and was just going to walk right on by. The storm didn't phase Him. The struggle of His disciples didn't stress Him. Yet, His eyes were on them the entire time. Why didn't He swoop in like Superman to save the day immediately? What was He looking for? The passage gives us the key to unlocking this mystery in vs. 52: "for they didn't understand the significance of the miracle of the loaves. Their hearts were too hard to take it in." You see, just before the struggle at sea they were struggling with how to feed 5000 people. Jesus said, "you feed them". They responded "we can't". Exactly! The struggle necessitates the surrender. The disciples will either surrender to the impossible circumstance or they will surrender to the God of the impossible. Jesus took the fives loaves and two fish. Hunger was defeated. Jesus walked upon the water. The storm was defeated. Jesus took our sin on the Cross. Death was defeated. Jesus allows the struggle to expedite the surrender. He allows the struggle but will never leave us alone it it. When He saw the fear in their eyes He said "The I AM is here" calling back to mind Exodus 3:14 when Moses was struggling with facing down Pharaoh. God will allow for the fight but He won't allow for the fear. He steps into their boat and their fears are calmed along with the waves. They didn't get it because their hearts were hard. When "I Am" is with us we are never alone. Nothing is bigger then "I Am".
I'm praying God would soften my heart this morning so I don't miss the I Am in my difficult situations. Resistance doesn't mean I've missed it. In fact it's impossible to build muscles in exercise without resistance. The struggle doesn't mean my God does not see. It means He's looking to develop a new level of faith in me. The storm of "I am afraid, stressed, tired, sick" isn't greater then the "I Am" who loves me. Let the struggle expedite the surrender so that I get a front row seat to the supernatural intervention of My Savior. Surrender says: "I can't feed the five thousand. I can't survive this storm. I can't conquer sin and death. But I happen to know the "I Am" who can! And He is looking out for me."
Even when it looks like You are walking right by me while I struggle I know I am not alone. There's never a moment when I am out of Your sight. There's never a time when You ignore my cry. There's never a wasted tear or a pointless struggle when I learn to surrender to the will of The Father. Where the hardness of my circumstances have hardened my heart toward You please soften me once again to see You are trustworthy and true!