“At once Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and go ahead of him to Bethsaida, on the other side of the lake, while he sent the crowd away. After saying goodbye to the people he went away to a hill to pray. When evening came, the boat was in the middle of the lake, while Jesus was alone on land. He saw that his disciples were straining at the oars, because they were rowing against the wind; so some time between three and six o’clock in the morning he came to them, walking on the water. He was going to pass them by, but they saw him walking on the water. “It’s a ghost!” they thought, and screamed. They were all terrified when they saw him.
Jesus spoke to them at once, “Courage!” he said. “It is I. Don’t be afraid!” Then he got into the boat with them, and the wind died down.” Mark 6:45-51
Last week Christian singer Natalie Grant spoke to a room full of women in Tampa and challenged them with this question, “How many of us feel like we are stuck in the middle?” Jesus’s disciples found themselves stuck in “the middle”. They had just finished a night of huge miracles where thousands of people were fed from a small amount of fish. They watched miracle after miracle. They wanted Jesus to stay right there and continue in the excitement. Jesus had other plans for the disciples. He told them to row across a lake and he would meet them on the other side. They did not want to leave Jesus. He was where all the fun was.
In the “middle” of the lake, the disciples encountered a terrible storm so bad that these experienced fisherman could barely row in. Im sure they were grumbling about how they should have stayed on the other side instead of heading to Bethsaida. This was in the middle of the lake. Had these disciples concentrated soley on rowing, they would have missed a huge miracle, and at first they did.
As they fought to row, they noticed what some said at first was a “ghost”. It was not a ghost, it was Jesus. He had seen them struggling, and came to rescue them. He walked on water to rescue them and then entered their boat. At Jesus’s presence, the wind and storm immediately ceased.
Sometimes Jesus allows us to be in the middle of a storm so that he can prepare us for one of His greatest miracles. Do not be discouraged in the middle. Dare to be a world changer, dare to be broken, dare to be used. Be willing to leave the present excitement and go wherever He calls you to go. Even in the middle our loneliness, Jesus is with you. Even in the middle of your greatest fears and risks, Jesus is with you. He will not leave you alone in the middle of your storm. He will help you row across the lake.