Hope in the Abyss

Mark 4 tells the story about an interesting boat ride Jesus takes his disciples on.

After a day of teaching,  Jesus called to the disciples and says “let us go to the other side.”  The other side of the lake.  To a region unfamiliar to them.

Sometimes, Jesus calls us to follow him to somewhere new, somewhere we’ve never been before.

Mark goes on to say, “leaving the crowd behind, they went.”

When Jesus calls us, we often have to leave our crowd behind, our comforts, whatever is familiar, and maybe even the awesome things we might be doing (up to that point, Jesus had been teaching and healing many people).

So they went.  In a boat.  Across the lake.

Exhausted from all the activity, Jesus fell asleep.  

Then a storm swept out over the water with wind and waves so strong, the terrified disciples woke Jesus.

We might, when we follow Jesus, find ourselves in the midst of a storm.  It might be an emotional storm.  A financial storm.  A physical storm.  What ever kind of storm it is, it can hit in full fury and terrify us.

In those momemtns, we might think we heard Jesus wrong. Could he really have called us out on the water only to be drowned? If we’re following him, shouldn’t things go smoothly? 

 But that’s not often the case.

To the disiciples, the lake represented the abyss. The unknown. The depths.  The home of demons.  They may have been scared of more than just drowning.

Certainly if we are following Jesus, the gates of hell will assault us with everything the enemy has.

Especially when we read on and realize where Jesus planned to go and what he planned to do.  On the other side of the lake lived a crazy man filled with demons and living among graves.  Jesus planned to heal him.  And the healed man would then evangelize and entire city.

A pretty great work.

The population of hell was decreased by one that day (as our pastor Randy Frazee likes to say) and then, because of one man’s testimony, by a multitude. 
Because they believed.

No wonder the storm rose up. No wonder the enemy tried to sink them. When the terrified disciples woke Jesus, he was a bit disappointed that they forgot who he was.  That he who was with them was greater than he who was in the world.  And he had the authority.
With a word from him, the storm ceased.  And they continued to the other side.

When Jesus calls, when the storms rise up, keep your eye on the One who calls and know he is leading you to an even greater work. And the gates of hell will not prevail.

grace & peace


About Jill English Johnston

God writes His story on every heart, if we only pause to read it. My heart has lived in a fantasy world since early childhood and am delighted that God has finally brought me to the place where I can bring the fantasies to life through story. I am currently working on a fantasy trilogy (of course) but I also post thoughts, reflections and (hopefully) inspiration to my website: tabletsofhumanhearts.wordpress.com I am a follower of the Rabbi Jesus, married to my best friend and inspiration, and the mother of three incredible children, one daughter and two sons, a son-in-love, a daughter-in-love and two adorable granddaughters. When not writing, I passionately pursue prayer, reading (never enough time to read them all!), and the outdoors. My husband and I both served in the US Navy and have lived/travelled through many states and all over Asia. We both still enjoy travelling, but we really love our home in New Braunfels, located at the Texas Hill Country.
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