When it says that the “wind was contrary” it meant that the fierce wind was blowing from the west, which was the very direction the disciples were going in. Again, don’t miss the point that they had been in this storm for hours. And, unlike the last storm, Jesus was not physically in the boat with them. He was on the mountain praying to the Father. Yet, I love the extra insight Mark gives to this same story in Mark 6:48…
Though Jesus was not physically in the boat with them this time, the text says “He saw them…” He was watching them the entire time! He wasn’t just alone with the Father, without any concern for them. He was with the Father watching their struggle and interceding for them! Speaking about His prayer for His disciples, again, from the inspired pen of Ellen White, she says,
Not only did Jesus have concern for the physical storm they were in, but He was also concerned about the one going on in their minds, so He drew closer to them. And this is what Jesus wants you to know as you're going through your seemingly unstoppable storm right now. Jesus will bring you through the next storm by revealing to you that…
HE SEES YOUR STRUGGLE AND DRAWS CLOSE
He’s kind of like a Lifeguard. If you’re drowning, the Lifeguard will see you from the beach, star running toward you, dive into the water and swim right up to you. Now watch this! The Lifeguard is trained to wait for you to stop struggling and flailing your arms, before they come in to save you. Why? Because, if they don’t, it could cause both you and the Lifeguard to drown. So they wait for you to surrender, so they can rescue you! They are waiting for you to stop trying to save yourself, look to them in faith and surrender, so they can save you! It’s like I can hear God saying to us right now, in our storm, “Stop struggling and start surrendering.” If we stop struggling to save ourselves, then He can draw close and save us.
This gives us clarity as to why the Scripture says in Mark 6:48 that as Jesus came close to His disciples, walking on the water, He looked as if He, “…would have passed them by.” No, Jesus wasn’t playing a sick joke. He was teaching them something that is critical for us to understand. He sees your struggle and His presence draws close to you, because He wants you to recognize His presence, have faith in Him and call on Him to save you! It’s the same lesson He wanted the disciples to learn in the last storm! That’s why after stopping the last storm He asked them, “How is it that you have no faith?” Mark 4:40 NKJV. He repeats this same kind of thing after seeing the grief of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. He draws close to them, talks with them and then when they were approaching their home in Luke 24:28 it says, “…He indicated that He would have gone farther.” Christ is a gentleman and will not force His way in. He waits for you to invite Him in. He sees your struggle and draws close; close enough for you to call on Him in faith to save you. What we learn from both of these storm stories is that Jesus will let another storm come into your life until you get it; until you learn the lesson of calling on Him in faith first!
So, as you find yourself in a storm, call on Jesus and invite Him into your storm immediately! Don’t try to figure it out on your own first. Stop struggling and start surrendering to His power to save! For He sees your struggle and has drawn close to you and is just waiting for you to invite Him into what seems like an unstoppable storm.
Now, here is Jesus walking on water to His disciples, yet their response to His close presence is not what we would expect. The Bible says in verse 26…
CJ Cousins, Speaker/Author
Follower of Jesus, Husband, Father and Associate Pastor for Younger Generations at Vienna SDA Church.