Wringing Out the Good

My grandchildren will tell you that whenever you learn something new it has been a good day. I enjoy learning, especially when it comes to Scripture. No matter how many times I read through those thin pages, I always see something I’ve never noticed before. New situations and experiences can open our hearts and minds so that we can read old words with new eyes.

After teaching children in Sunday school for over 40 years, Jesus Calming the Storm is a very familiar story. Matthew, Mark, and Luke all record the same miraculous event. However, Mark offers us a snippet of information that I’d never paid attention to until I heard our pastor briefly mention it in his welcoming remarks. In fact, that one little tidbit caused me to miss whatever he said afterward. I kept thinking, “I don’t remember that being in there!” Since we were about to pour out our praise in song, I waited until I got home to investigate. If it really was there, then that would be a powerful point for me.

(Now, I bet you want me to tell you what that little scrumptious morsel is, don’t you? You want to see if you already know it. You probably do, but hang with me for just a little longer.)

It had been a long day for Jesus beside the Sea of Galilee. A large crowd had gathered to listen to Him teach and to receive healing. Late in the day, He quietly entertained the disciples’ many questions. As the sun grew weary from hanging in the sky, the Son of Man had also grown weary. “When evening had come, He told them, “Let’s cross over to the other side of the sea.” (Mark 4:35 CSB) 

I take comfort in knowing that even Jesus got tired. He went to the back of the boat, grabbed a cushion for His head, and promptly fell asleep. Meanwhile, a mighty storm, common to the Sea of Galilee, blew up and swamped the boat, but Jesus slept. The boat rocked to and fro violently, but Jesus slept. The winds howled angrily, but Jesus slept. The frantic disciples knew how to handle a boat; they were fishermen for crying out loud. Yet, the fierceness of this storm caused them to cry out loud to Jesus. Like every good parent knows, all it took to wake Jesus was the sound of His “children” crying out in the night.

Jesus rose to the occasion. “He got up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Silence! Be still!’ The wind ceased, and there was a great calm.” (Mark 4:39 CSB) He reminded them that because He was right there with them, they didn’t have to be afraid. He was in complete control. The disciples had seen Him heal lepers and paralytics. They had seen Him raise the dead. Yet, seeing Him master His own creation filled them with even more awe.

This story offers many lessons about believing and trusting in Jesus and His mighty power. It can even provide a lesson or two about resting like Jesus. But my new takeaway encourages me in a different direction. You see, that one little sentence Mark tucked at the end of verse 36 grabbed my heart and hasn’t let go yet. Only Mark wrote this: “So they left the crowd and took Him along since He was in the boat. AND OTHER BOATS WERE WITH HIM.” (Emphasis, definitely mine!) 

Other boats were with Him! 

The disciples weren’t the only ones swirling in the chaos. They weren’t the only ones fearful, terrified, and fighting for their lives. There were others in the exact same storm, yet the disciples couldn’t see them because their eyes remained focused on their own predicament. Those in the other boats weren’t yet in the boat with Jesus, but they were following close behind. They didn’t know what Jesus could offer, but whatever it was, they definitely wanted to know more about it.

What if those disciples in the Jesus Boat had immediately trusted in Jesus’ power? One of them might have shook Him awake and said, “Hey, Master, take care of this, would you please?” Another might have chimed in, “Yeah, we know You wouldn’t have asked us to go across the lake just so we could drown. Go ahead, and do Your thing, Jesus. We can wait.” And while they waited, they might have looked out across the waves and seen the other boats rocking and rolling. They might have offered up some encouragement. One might have shouted, “Don’t worry! Jesus has this! Just hang on! It will all settle down soon!” 

Then, when all the good was wrung out of the waiting and they were all safe, those in the other boats would know all they needed to know about the power of Jesus. They would know without a doubt that if He could calm the sea, He most certainly could be trusted with even the smaller frustrating things in their lives.

Maybe God has you in a time of waiting for relief from physical pain, relationship pain, or the pain of grief. Maybe you’re waiting for some spiritual healing or freedom from an addiction. Or, maybe you’ve been waiting for a better job, a new house, the love of your life, or a baby. It may not feel like it, but you are not the only one on a stormy sea. There are others in the same predicament. Dare I say, there are others in much worse circumstances? Wring out all the good from your waiting. Your waiting could be someone else’s teachable moment. When you fix your eyes on Jesus, remain calm in the chaos, allow Him to calm the waters, and give Him all the credit, others will want what He can offer.  

This Christmas season (and from now on), let’s all give Jesus our gift of trust and thankfulness. Let’s patiently share His gifts of love, sacrifice, forgiveness, and peace with all those in the boats behind us.

“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” (Jesus – John 14:27 NLT)

Posted in
IMG_7590

Donna Jackson

Constantly Beginning Again

By Donna Jackson | January 25, 2023 |

Maybe you remember that 80’s TV show “The A-Team”. It depicted the antics of a wrongly-accused special forces squad who escaped military prison to become a team of do-good vigilantes. Every week, when victory was in sight, their fearless leader Hannibal would find the time to smile and declare, “I love it when a plan…

Beginning Again and Again

By Donna Jackson | January 17, 2023 |

Growing up, some called me a tomboy. I didn’t particularly like that label, but I did enjoy ripping and romping outside. I constantly pushed the limits of gravity and physics. I have many scars to prove my reckless ways and could entertain you for hours with stories linked to each one; but I’ll spare you…

Beginning Again

By Donna Jackson | January 10, 2023

As a new teenager, thoughts of driving a car often spurred my imagination. I couldn’t wait to slide behind the wheel and go wherever I wanted – all by myself. At night, when I laid my body down, I would close my eyes, picture my two hands on the wheel, and almost feel the wind…

Beginnings

By Donna Jackson | January 3, 2023

Going anywhere with my granddaddy Russie (his real name was Russell) painted a big smile on my face. I didn’t care where we went, I just wanted to go. I especially liked going with him to the Sears and Roebuck store. They had everything anyone could possibly want, but most importantly they had a candy…

Life on Instant Replay

By Donna Jackson | December 20, 2022

I was reminded a couple of weeks ago that I shouldn’t be so hesitant about sharing my most life-changing Jesus story. I can finally admit that my hesitation to share it comes from knowing how I would have received it several years ago. I would have thought it to be a fanciful tale birthed out…

Touched

By Donna Jackson | December 13, 2022

Surely, he felt more and more lonely and rejected as the days crawled by. After all, his skin disease had no cure. He and the other lepers who had been sentenced to life outside the city existed inside a vat of hopeless desperation. Life as he knew it changed the day that nasty spot first…

Wringing Out the Good

By Donna Jackson | December 6, 2022

My grandchildren will tell you that whenever you learn something new it has been a good day. I enjoy learning, especially when it comes to Scripture. No matter how many times I read through those thin pages, I always see something I’ve never noticed before. New situations and experiences can open our hearts and minds…

Used Up and Refilled

By Donna Jackson | November 29, 2022

For these next few weeks leading up to Christmas we’ll focus on a few of the miracles of Jesus. This week I decided to rework an old post that I had so much fun writing. I love viewing familiar events from different perspectives. I pray this allegory helps you discover your own hidden meaning.  …

I’m Sorry

By Donna Jackson | November 22, 2022

Those who know me best know my love for movie quotes. Since Ron loves me, he’s learned to “speak movie” with me. He and I often challenge one another by quoting lines from our favorite movies just to see if the other one can respond with the next correct line or at least identify the…

Don’t Lose Heart

By Donna Jackson | November 15, 2022

“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” (Galatians 6:9 NKJ) It’s so easy to begin an exciting new project or season of life with enthusiasm, isn’t it? We wear broad smiles as we work passionately to get things off the…