When we have the opportunity to help anyone, we should do it. -Galatians 6:10a (NCV)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Why Would He Do That?

Now I am no preacher. Or bible college graduate. Or super well versed in the bible. But I was reading the book of Mark and his account of Jesus's life. I have read in a bible study and several books now about how Jesus was very much about relationships and there are plenty of examples of that in the bible.

But something caught the eye of this preacher's kid that I had obviously overlooked when hearing and reading the story of Jesus walking on water.

Here is the story from the NCV in Mark 6:45-51

Immediately Jesus told his followers to get into the boat and go ahead of him to Bethsaida across the lake. He stayed there to send the people home. After sending them away, he went into the hills to pray.  That night, the boat was in the middle of the lake, and Jesus was alone on the land.  He saw his followers struggling hard to row the boat, because the wind was blowing against them. Between three and six o’clock in the morning, Jesus came to them, walking on the water, and he wanted to walk past the boat. But when they saw him walking on the water, they thought he was a ghost and cried out.  They all saw him and were afraid. But quickly Jesus spoke to them and said, “Have courage! It is I. Do not be afraid.”  Then he got into the boat with them, and the wind became calm. The followers were greatly amazed.

The part that I saw for the first time is found in verse 48. It says, "He saw his followers struggling hard to row the boat, because the wind was blowing against them. Between three and six o’clock in the morning, Jesus came to them, walking on the water, and he wanted to walk past the boat."

Reread the last part that is bolded and italicized by me.

So let me get this straight.

Jesus saw that his followers, who by the way, HE sent out ahead of Him, STRUGGLING HARD to row the boat. And what was Jesus' reaction going to be to this?

To walk past them?


So I thought it may just be the New Century Version that translated it this way.

The New American Standard Bible says: "Seeing them straining at the oars, for the wind was against them, at about the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea; and He intended to pass by them."

So Jesus, according to this translation, intentionally was going to pass by his disciples after seeing them straining?

 This does not seem like the relational Jesus I have been reading Christian authors write about. Why would be want to an intend to pass by his BFF's that were struggling? He saw them. He was the one who sent them out ahead after all! So when He saw them having a hard time why was He just going to walk right past them?

The good news is is that He did help them. After they called out to him thinking he was a ghost. They were afraid. 

Is it possible that God is waiting on us to call out to Him in the middle of a problem we may have in our own lives? He's there. He cares. He knows when wind is blowing and that we are struggling and straining.  But there could be a personal lesson waiting for us that we haven't fully learned yet? 

Like I said before...I am no bible scholar...but I know that God knows my problems. He sees when I am struggling hard to fight on my own. Does the God who sent me out see? Does my frightened voice have the power to move the God who made the heavens and earth to stop by and comfort me?

I believe it does.

So Have You?

I just got home from Bile study. The ladies who are missionaries in Jacmel meet together once a week for study and fellowship.

Today we talked about friendship and how it is so different making and keeping friends while living in Haiti. Honestly, I don't have that many friends here. My best friend is Haitian and I can relate to her and have more in common with her than I have ever had with any American friend I have ever had. Sometimes God brings you a blessing from the most unlikely places and circumstances!

But friendship is hard here. Every mission has different focuses and most missionaries have a busy workload that doesn't leave much time for making and keeping friendships. One point that was brought up today was the fact that missionaries seem to come and go at a pretty high rate that it's a struggle at times to make the time to start a friendship when the reality is there is a high probability that person won't be around for long.

But there is something about community and friendship with those who understand. No offense, but most of you reading this blog have never lived in Haiti. So it's a treat to sit and talk with someone else who has "walked that mile in your shoes" and truly understands. We can laugh about the day to days encounters we have within a different culture. We can fully understand when someone is just feeling like they can't do it here anymore. And no one understands feeling left out back "home" like others who have spent holiday after holiday away from their families too.

Haiti is hard.

Really hard.

Ask anyone who has lived here over a year and I guarantee they will agree.

So that is why today I am thankful for friendships. Friendships I had in the past and the current ones I have here on the mission field.

Remember to thank God for putting the right friends with you in the right place and right time.