Mark 6:45-52 (NIV)

45 Immediately Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. 46 After leaving them, he went up on a mountainside to pray.  47 When evening came, the boat was in the middle of the lake, and he was alone on land. 48 He saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them. About the fourth watch of the night he went out to them, walking on the lake. He was about to pass by them, 49 but when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought he was a ghost. They cried out, 50 because they all saw him and were terrified. Immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”  51 Then he climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down. They were completely amazed, 52 for they had not understood about the loaves; their hearts were hardened.   

Mark 6:50 (NIV)

50 because they all saw him and were terrified. Immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”   

DEVOTION – Bernadette Amistoso – Morales (Philippines)

Our reading for today describes the disciples sailing to meet Jesus at Bethsaida and straining at the oars because the wind was against them.  Panic-stricken, the disciples had tried to manage the situation, but things got out of hand.  The Lord eventually came to their rescue by walking on water right toward them.  Unfortunately, the disciples did not recognize Jesus and thought they had seen a ghost.  They realized it was the Lord only when he finally said to them, “Take courage!  It is I.  Don’t be afraid.”

Jesus was telling them to be still and to be sure.  Stillness, in its truest sense, is our ability to trust that God is present and hears us in all situations.  Being still is the hardest thing to do when we are in the thick of crisis or when things get out of control.  But when all is said and done, learning to let go of our worries and trust that God is present shows great wisdom.

Certainly, we will have our share of strong winds and rough wasters in life.  When these moments come, may we learn to take and never miss out on the presence of Jesus, the ever-faithful One who comes to us each and every time.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: True courage is learning to trust God.

PRAYER: Give us true courage, O Lord, so that when the strong winds come, we may remain still and sure in your presence.  Amen.