Nights on the boat
There are very few things in life that are more calming than a boat ride on a calm lake. There are even fewer things more terrifying than being stuck on a boat during a storm.
Mark 4 teaches us that it is not the situation outside the boat that matters, but what is inside the boat.
The fact of the matter is that if Jesus is in the boat, there is always a chance of getting out alive. He can calm the sea or better yet, even if the boat breaks, he can walk us on the water out of the stormy winds.
The disciples experienced God's wonderous might right in the middle of the storm. They saw his calming peace as they were perilously on the edge of capsizing into the waters. But they would have never seen such a miracle if they had remained on the shores.
Leaving the crowds
Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. Mark 4:36
There is a certain separation that occurs when we choose to obey the voice of God. His call will always draw us out from our comfort zone and into His presence. Jesus instructed his disciples that they were to cross to the other side of the lake.
But before they met the storms and encountered the waves and became a testimony, they had to first leave the shore and the crowds that were surrounding them. Often, it is this separation that we struggle with. We boldly declare that God can carry us through the storms but we are afraid to be away from the crowds.
You cannot follow the voice of Jesus while listening to the noise of the crowd. You cannot be an effective servant of the Lord while trying to effectively please all the people around you. The truth is, the boat was not meant for the crowds. The boat was meant for the disciples and in time, Jesus left on the boat. If they had stayed behind, they might have not faced the storm, but they would have been without Jesus.
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. John 10:27
We have to tune our spiritual radios into the frequencies of God. That means we have to tune out every other station that is vying for our attention. Sometimes quiet times with the Lord happens not because we are abandoned or isolated by our peers but because we chose to remove ourselves from the world around us to spend more time with our Maker.
Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. Galatians: 1:10
I urge you to let go of trying to please your peers and your circles. Instead, get on the boat to please Jesus. It is true, that this means you are more prone to encountering storms on the way. But this way, you will see that even the winds and waves obey your master.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. Isaiah 43:2