And when they saw Him walking on the sea, they supposed it was a ghost, and cried out; for they all saw Him and were troubled, but immediately He talked with them and said to them, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” (N.K.J.V.)
This story in the Gospel of Mark begins with Jesus telling the disciples to get into the boat and go to the other side to Bethsaida. He sent the multitude away and after they were gone went to pray at the mountain. When evening came, the boat was in the middle of the sea, and Jesus saw the disciples struggling to row. He then walked out on the water to them. When they saw Him coming towards them they did not recognize Him and began to cry out.
Jesus was right there in physical form, but along with the wind and swell of the sea, His physical appearance was unclear and difficult to discern. Metaphorically, I have been in that very same boat. The wind whipped and the sea crashed all around. I cried out in fear. Hope seemed far off in the distance. Hope was still back at the mountain, somewhere on land. I couldn’t always see hope emerging through the wind and waves. However, just because I couldn’t see Him, hear Him, or feel Him, doesn’t mean He wasn’t there. He was there. He was standing on that water telling me, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”
The fact is with our physical eyes, when stuck in a holding pattern of grief, we can’t always see hope. We become lost in the reality of our circumstances. But let me tell you this, and I want you to read the following statement over and over again if you must …
We do not serve a God of lost hope and shattered promises. We serve a God whose name is Hope and who puts our shattered realities back together with mercy, love, and grace. He does it in such a way that our weaknesses become our greatest strengths, and our scars become just reminders of the One and only Truth in our lives that came to rescue us in human form on a cross of suffering.
We might sit in the boat amongst the stubborn sea and attacks of the enemy, but our hope wins out in the end.
He lives. And because He lives we have hope.
Jesus is here.
Jesus is real.
Jesus came to free us from pain and deliver hope.
Sometimes, all we need to do is learn to recognize hope.
Hope is a gift.
Hope grants you mercy to be able to look up rather than straight in the eyes of the gloom you are facing.
With hope, all things are possible.
Are you holding onto hope? If so, how are you doing it?