Take Heart! It Is I!
In the midst of the storm, listen.
We live in a world that is broken. There is chaos every where we look. Wars and rumors of wars fill the news. Personally, many of us are living in chaos too. Pain and suffering seem to be every where.
In Mark 6 we find the disciples of Jesus on a boat crossing the sea of Galilee after Jesus had fed 5,000 people,
Immediately he made his disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. And after he had taken leave of them, he went up on the mountain to pray. And when evening came, the boat was out on the sea, and he was alone on the land. And he saw that they were making headway painfully, for the wind was against them. And about the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. He meant to pass by them, but when they saw him walking on the sea they thought it was a ghost, and cried out, for they all saw him and were terrified. But immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.” And he got into the boat with them, and the wind ceased. And they were utterly astounded, for they did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened. (Mark 6:45–52, ESV)
Whenever life gets hard this passage gives me hope. First, I love that Jesus “saw that they were making painful headway, for the wind was against them.” Jesus saw. He noticed their difficulty. Jesus was aware that things weren’t easy for them. When we are going through the rough patches we must remember that Jesus sees us. He knows that it’s hard.
Second, he trusted that they could handle the situation. Jesus was not just going to bail them out because it was hard. Many of his disciples were experienced sailors and could manage the situation. To sail the boat safely to port they didn’t need him. Notice, “he meant to pass by them.” Each of us have gifts, abilities, and skills. When the going gets tough, there are times when we are to use them. God has given these to us as gifts. In the midst of the challenge, we are to embrace who we are and leverage these gifts.
Finally, when it got to be too much, when the disciples became terrified, Jesus responded. He said, “Take heart, it is I.” He gave clarity to them of who he was when they were believing wrong things. They thought he was a ghost. In that moment, he spoke and clarified his identity. In the midst of our struggles and turmoil we often get messed up pictures of who Jesus is. It’s in that moment we must listen. We will hear, “Take heart, it is I.” When we have clarity of who Jesus is then in a miraculous way the winds die down. We are able to move forward and reach the shore.
Following Jesus requires us to move out in faith. He asks of us to trust him. It will be scary at times. There will be times when the wind is against us. But we can know that he sees us, he trusts us, and he will come to us.
Take Heart! It is I! was originally published in The Rev on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.