Take a Pause!

“When Jesus climbed out of the boat, a man possessed by an evil spirit came out from a cemetery to meet Him.” (Mark 5:2 NLT)

Jesus told His disciples in the later verses of Mark 4: “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” There were two very significant events that took place on that short journey.

First, there was “a fierce storm” that threatened to sink their boat, while Jesus slept. Who caused that storm? Who rules over nature? God! But why that storm, on that lake, at that time? The disciples, in a panic, woke Jesus. Remember, this was in the midst of loud wind and crashing waves, so they’re shouting, “Teacher, don’t You care that we’re going to drown?” Jesus didn’t respond to their question, but immediately “rebuked the wind and said to the waves, ‘Silence! Be still!’ Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm. Then He asked them, ‘Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?’”

Photo by Emiliano Arano on Pexels.com

These are simply words on a page to us, but to those early disciples the storm was an object lesson to build faith in a bunch of very fearful disciples. Do you understand that Jesus is still “causing storms” in people’s lives? Not to “drown” them, but to help them see who He is more clearly and to build their faith. Why is that so vital?

Remember the point of the boat ride? To go to the other side, right? What was waiting for them on the other side? A naked demon possessed man who was shrieking and screaming, and he was running straight for Jesus and His disciples. Can you even begin to imagine how frightening that would be? What do you think the disciples were thinking? Yet, what had they just experienced moments before in the boat?

Jesus had essentially taught them, that regardless of the severity of the “storm,” He has authority over it. Then He immediately puts them in this other horrifying “storm.” That may have been a “Depends” moment for me, and I suspect for some of the disciples, but as with everything else Jesus did, He had it under control. His mission wasn’t a location or an event, it was a person. This man WAS the reason for crossing the lake. We can learn a lot from that if we’re willing to take a pause.

The demon-possessed man was healed and wanted to follow Jesus, but instead, Jesus told him to “’go home to your family, and tell them everything the Lord has done for you and how merciful He has been.’ So the man started off to visit the Ten Towns of that region and began to proclaim the great things Jesus had done for him; and everyone was amazed at what he told them.”

How like us when we have a “mountain top experience” spiritually. We just want to “camp out with Jesus.” But that’s not always God’s plan. Every circumstance in our lives, both good and bad, is a tool which Jesus is using to build us into His faithful followers who can share what He’s done for us with those in our spheres of influence. Some are orchestrated by Jesus, but some are not. Some are experiences that terrify and change us in ways we can’t imagine ever getting over. We carry the “nightmare” of those things so closely they begin to define us.

On some levels they become the “demon” that robs us of our will and dictates our behavior. Only Jesus can free us of those. No amount of willpower, counseling, or determination can do what only God can do in and for us. Trust Him, He knows your pain and He’s able to deliver you, if you’re willing to run to Him and cast your pain and fear at His feet. Let Him change your focus from what you were, or what happened to you, to what He can free you to become. He’s still a miracle worker. Take a pause with Jesus and let Him set you on a new course.

Blessings, Ed 😊

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