Sorry for the scary title!  But the disciples are in a boat on the Sea of Galilee after Jesus has performed an amazing miracle (most are!!) by feeding well over 5000 people with just a small basket  of fish and a couple of loaves of bread.  Jesus Himself has sent them off so He could get up on the mountainside to pray, to spend quality and quantity time with His Father, to rest and relax…and pray. Doesn’t sound too scary to  me. After all,  great success in our mission to help people in need, Jesus doing what He needs to do, we’re off on a little cruise on the lake…but then!  All heaven breaks loose!  Someone turned on the big jet engine fans, and we’re going under!  Help!  Help, Lord!  Mark 6: 48 says that ‘(Jesus) saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them.’  We have friends who were visiting in Israel near the Sea of Galilee.  What started out as a nice,calm day,  almost in the blink-of-an-eye turned into a storm like they had never experienced.  It came on so suddenly, that they panicked and ran for cover literally falling all over each other resulting in the wife having a terrible crushed hip requiring two separate surgeries in two different countries. That was certainly an ill wind blowing their way.  And maybe, just maybe, you feel much the same.  Not falling all over each other but just in a free-fall like there’s no bottom or if there is, it’s not going to be fun to find it.  This story is for you…and me in the midst of the storm.  Back to the disciples–Jesus sees their struggles and after awhile (God will allow us to struggle, He has a purpose that may be beyond an explanation that He’ll share with us in this life) He goes to them, walking on the water, and they think that when things couldn’t possibly get worse, now a ghost is out to get them!  They are truly spooked!  ‘Terrified’, Mark records.  “Immediately (Jesus) spoke to them and said, ‘Take courage!  It is I. Don’t be afraid.'”  When we are in the midst of whatever storm  blows our way, Jesus is right there with us in the midst of it all.  Like what He told His disciples–take courage, don’t be afraid.  The middle phrase is ‘It is I’–between our need for courage and our great big fears stands Jesus being right there with us. He’ll be there with us no matter what, no  matter how it long it takes.   Tough times aren’t half as difficult when we know that people who love us are standing with us.  I’ve experienced that in my life more than just one time.  Haven’t you?  And maybe there’s someone on your mind right now that needs you to stand with them in the midst of the ill wind blowing their way? Has God put someone on your mind?  He has on mine…Let’s do it, then, standing with them like Jesus will always do for us.

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