The Crossing Over // When Fear Rages

'That evening Jesus’ disciples went down to the shore to wait for him. But as darkness fell and Jesus still hadn’t come back, they got into the boat and headed across the lake toward Capernaum. Soon a storm swept down upon them, and the sea grew very rough. They had rowed three or four miles when suddenly they saw Jesus walking on the water toward the boat. They were terrified, but he called out to them, “Don’t be afraid. I am here. Or The ‘I Am’ is here; Then they were eager to let him in the boat, and immediately they arrived at their destination.”John 6:16-21

This is a note of encouragement, from my heart. Over Christmas time, I shared with you guys that I had faced some mountains emotionally and Christ and I had been on a journey of healing. Its a mystery how some healings are done in a moment and some are walked out-I believe part of it is for what substance we pick up along our journeys in order to help others. That was part of Christ’s walk on earth was that He felt our weaknesses and our pains, He knows what we face. I became a Christ follower at a young age and have since loved Jesus with a deep love, but there have been many mountains in my life. Some of these I’ve publicly shared and some I have kept close to my heart, between me and Jesus and pondered them as He has continued to heal me. I think theres a “crossing over” in all of our lives. For most, there may be several areas of crossing over to follow Jesus into everything He’s called us to. Crossing over personal seas of fear, doubt, depression, crippling anxieties, rejection, loss, loneliness (you can fill in your own personal blank here, because we all have them). In John 6, the Bible tells us of the disciples setting sail across a lake in the darkness of middle of night, heading for the northeast shore. I imagine the waters were probably smooth when they put their boat in and began their journey. About three or four miles into their trip, a raging storm blew across the waters, and terror must have filled their hearts. We’ve all been in this place, and all of our stories look different…raging storms we can’t seem to calm on our own and mountains we cant seem to climb in our own strength. Places in life where we are not equipped to handle what is in front of us, it has to be divine, supernatural strength from God. Nothing could bring peace to the disciples storm, not their strength or efforts, knowledge of their path, or even each other…only Jesus. They had just witnessed Him perform the miracle of feeding the five thousand prior to this, but in this moment, all they could see was their circumstance. They, like many of us are so quick to forget, so quick to feel anxious, fearful, and overcome. Their sights of rough water surpassed what they had just witnessed Him do. Some believe Psalm 107 was the background of imagery for this scene.

“For he commanded and raised the stormy wind, which lifted up the waves of the sea. They mounted up to heaven; they went down to the depths; their courage melted away in their evil plight; they reeled and staggered like drunken men and were at their wits' end. Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven. Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man.” Psalm 107:25-31

Jesus here is fulfilling who He says He is-again. Their ever present help. Feeding, protecting, rescuing and guiding his followers despite all of the natural calamities that surrounded them. The answer and calm to our storm is that He is with us. Just like He told Moses in Exodus, he told the disciples in John. “I am is here.” That was the answer to the storm that surrounded them. I am is with you. I am will never leave you or forsake you. No matter what life brings, He will get you to the other side. This is a journey…for me and for you. I am praying today for anyone who is on a journey to the other side, that you will be comforted in the storm, and a new assurance that “I Am” is with you…He sees you, knows you, and loves you. I pray that the storm is stilled and the waves are hushed, and that with I Am’s power alone, we will be brought to our desired havens. Scripture promises us that His steadfast love will lead us safely to shore. Praying for strength for all my sisters and brothers reading this today. We are loved and held.

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Section 1.10.33 of "de Finibus Bonorum et Malorum", written by Cicero in 45 BC

"At vero eos et accusamus et iusto odio dignissimos ducimus qui blanditiis praesentium voluptatum deleniti atque corrupti quos dolores et quas molestias excepturi sint occaecati cupiditate non provident, similique sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollitia animi, id est laborum et dolorum fuga. Et harum quidem rerum facilis est et expedita distinctio. Nam libero tempore, cum soluta nobis est eligendi optio cumque nihil impedit quo minus id quod maxime placeat facere possimus, omnis voluptas assumenda est, omnis dolor repellendus. Temporibus autem quibusdam et aut officiis debitis aut rerum necessitatibus saepe eveniet ut et voluptates repudiandae sint et molestiae non recusandae. Itaque earum rerum hic tenetur a sapiente delectus, ut aut reiciendis voluptatibus maiores alias consequatur aut perferendis doloribus asperiores repellat."

1914 translation by H. Rackham

"On the other hand, we denounce with righteous indignation and dislike men who are so beguiled and demoralized by the charms of pleasure of the moment, so blinded by desire, that they cannot foresee the pain and trouble that are bound to ensue; and equal blame belongs to those who fail in their duty through weakness of will, which is the same as saying through shrinking from toil and pain. These cases are perfectly simple and easy to distinguish. In a free hour, when our power of choice is untrammelled and when nothing prevents our being able to do what we like best, every pleasure is to be welcomed and every pain avoided. But in certain circumstances and owing to the claims of duty or the obligations of business it will frequently occur that pleasures have to be repudiated and annoyances accepted. The wise man therefore always holds in these matters to this principle of selection: he rejects pleasures to secure other greater pleasures, or else he endures pains to avoid worse pains."

Meshali Mitchell