When Jesus Is Not There

where they got into a boat and set off across the lake for Capernaum. By now it was dark, and Jesus had not yet joined them.  A strong wind was blowing and the waters grew rough.  John 6:17-18 (NIV)

Is this just the way things go?  When we are not with Jesus, does everything seem to be against us?  Here we are just trying to get ourselves together.  We want to make some progress.  But the sun goes down on our happiness.  We are left in the dark.  We struggle against the winds.   We wrestle against the elements.  When the Presence of Jesus is not there with us, does it seem we are alone in a rough dark sea of despair?

The Disciples were trying to get to Capernaum.  They were trying to carry out their Master wishes.  They thought they were doing the right thing.  But He was not there with them.  His Presence was not felt.  Winds beat their vessel.  Waves tossed them.  For all their greatest efforts, they made little ground.  Can we relate to what they must have felt?  Do we think they were wishing Jesus was there with them in that moment?  What do we do when we have our moments of struggle?  When the wind and the seas of life build up and toss us around, what reaction do we have?  Do we just struggle on?  Do we feel lost and helpless?  Do we moan and groan against the elements that blow against us?  Do we just wish that Jesus was here?

It may be hard for us to see why we must face impossible odds.  One day the Lord may let us know why we had to struggle.  But could God know in His infinite wisdom, just what our hearts need and when we need it?  Could the Almighty know the amount of suffering and adversity it takes each one to reach a point where we realize we need a Saviour?  Could He be carefully observing our situation to see if we are even looking to be saved?  Would He send us His Son in an instant if He found the conditions just right?  When we reach the point where we truly do want Jesus to be with us, will the Lord be right there to move into our awareness?  Is He like that?  Does He love us that much?

In our lives what do we normally do?  Have we grown accustomed to the distance we have between God and us?  Does it seem impossible that He could be right here with us now?  Are we focusing on the wind that blows against us?  Do the waves that beat us from all sides command all our attention?  Have we forgotten that we have a Saviour?  Do we know He could be closer?  Do we know He could be right here in the midst of this storm?  Perhaps it is time that we look beyond our situation.  Perhaps we should realize our plight.  If we could look beyond what confronts us now and see the Son, what would change?  Is it us that need to change?  Is He waiting for just such a moment?  Will He come to be with us even now?

Dear Jesus, we struggle and we pull at our oars.  It seems we are getting nowhere.  Please help us to realize that You could be closer. You could be here with us!  Please help us to see past all that batters us and see that what we need is You!  If we could realize that more of You is just what we need, then will You draw near?  If we can understand that You would be our help right now, will You take control?  Show us our lack.  Let us see past the rest.  Come and be with us today!  And take us safely over these waters to our Home with the Father we pray!

Amen

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