Presence Or Program?

By , June 5, 2013

“A strong wind was blowing and the waters grew rough.”
John 6:18-20 (NIV)

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 “When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus approaching the boat, walking on the water; and they were frightened.

But he said to them, ‘It is I; don’t be afraid.’” John 6:18-20 (NIV)

We are a society in the western world that has its faith in programs. When my children were young the rage in education was to have no walls separating classrooms in schools. “Open concept” was what it was called, I believe. Now, 30 years later, there are serious doubts about this program and many of these schools have constructed floor to ceiling walls between classes trying to recover the old program.

However, I would never suggest we should not have plans and programs. Programs help us live in an organized and productive manner. But what do you do when the rug is pulled out from underneath your feet and your program lies in shambles? Perhaps something came along that you had not planned for—like illness or job loss.

Even the program that the disciples were following seemed catastrophic. Mark 6:45 tells us that the disciples were in that boat in obedience to Jesus. It was part of our Lord’s program for the disciples to get into a life threatening situation.

What now? How do you survive when you feel lost, helpless, hopeless? The secret is in our verses today. Pay attention to the words Jesus speaks to comfort the frightened disciples. He told them that He was there so they were to stop being frightened.

Jesus wanted the disciples to get their eyes off the storm and onto Him. A good look at Jesus—when the horizon spells death and destruction—is the best sight anyone can have. There is no better view in the middle of a tornado than seeing Jesus.

When your program fails then the Person takes over. As poor old insane William Cowper so wonderfully wrote about the Lord:

“God moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform,
He plants His footstep on the sea and rides upon the storm.”

Today seek to lift your eyes off the storm, the problem, the suffering, and get your eyes on the wonderful person and work of Jesus Christ. Your brief life may seem all for nothing, you may wonder what good it has been to live, but as long as Jesus is your Guide you shall eventually arrive safe in your eternal home.

Today’s issues can only be understood when we enter eternity and look back on our journey through this life. Then we shall fully see the wisdom and purpose of God in leading you the way He did. Hear Cowper again as he wrote;

“Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.
Blind unbelief is sure to err
And scan His work in vain;
God is His own interpreter,
And He will make it plain.”

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