God Knows What He Is Doing

Mark 4:35-37, “On that day, when evening came, Jesus said to them, ‘Let us go over to the other side.’ Leaving the crowds, they took Him along with them in the boat, just as He was; and other boats were with Him. And there arose a fierce gale of wind, and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling up.”

A collective hush fell over the disciples. They really couldn’t believe what they had just heard. Crossing the lake at this time? Right as the sun was about to go down? Seriously? Quietly they looked first at Jesus and then to one another. A few hung their heads. Some shuffled their feet aimlessly in the sand. They were all thinking it but no one was going to say it out loud. “He’s lost His mind.” If it had been anyone but Jesus, they would have told him to get lost. It had been a long day, one full of ministry and teaching. At this moment the only thing they were thinking about was calling it a day. But now Jesus gets the idea to have a little late night lake excursion. “Let us go over to the other side.” Surely, it could wait until morning, couldn’t it?

Let’s consider the timing in this passage for a minute. The day is drawing to an end and Jesus chooses THAT specific moment to send the disciples in a new direction. Understand, this is not some “flying by the seat of His pants” moment of inspiration. This is neither chance nor some mere coincidence. This is not happenstance. As Jesus did throughout His entire life, He is moving in accordance with the Father’s plan and purpose for His life. Jesus intentionally chose that very point in time to send the disciples to the other side of the lake. This was a moment of divine engineering and orchestration.

Now here is what truly amazes me. Jesus issues this new directive knowing that a storm is on the way. He knows that very soon the disciples will be fighting for their lives in the middle of the lake. Remember, He is God. Throughout the NT we see Him operating in the capacity of foreknowledge. He knew people’s thoughts. He knew of the unfolding of events prior to their actual happening. Jesus knew a storm would meet them halfway across the lake. And yet, He still chose that very moment to send them. He willfully sends them into the storm! The storm is not accidental. Quite the opposite. It is an intentional part of His plan.

Imagine the disciples’ confusion. They have abandoned everything to follow Him. In this specific instance they have obeyed Him. They are literally serving as His nautical taxi service. And how does God reward their faithfulness and sacrifice? He sends them into a storm that threatens their very lives. Sound familiar? Or am I only talking to myself right now? I want to remind us today to not be so hasty in judging our current circumstances. Sometimes God’s perfect will for your life is realized only in the very middle of the storm. I know that sounds strange on the surface. But the disciples would receive a revelation of Jesus that could only be gained in the midst of an impossible and hopeless situation. God may well be doing the same thing in your life right now. You might not understand it all but don’t give up just yet. Hold on to Him. Keep trusting even as the sky grows dark. If God sent you into the storm, He has a plan. He has a purpose. And He knows what He is doing.

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