Wednesday (January 8): "Take heart, it is I; have no fear"
Scripture: Mark 6:45-52
45 Immediately he made his disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, to Beth-sa'ida, while he dismissed the crowd. 46 And after he had taken leave of them, he went up on the mountain to pray. 47 And when evening came, the boat was out on the sea, and he was alone on the land. 48 And he saw that they were making headway painfully, for the wind was against them. And about the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. He meant to pass by them, 49 but when they saw him walking on the sea they thought it was a ghost, and cried out; 50 for they all saw him, and were terrified. But immediately he spoke to them and said, "Take heart, it is I; have no fear." 51 And he got into the boat with them and the wind ceased. And they were utterly astounded, 52 for they did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened.
Meditation: Do you ever feel tested or let down by the Lord? Right after Jesus performed the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes, he left his disciples by themselves so he could go away and pray alone for a while. It was at Jesus' initiative that the disciples set sail across the lake, only to find themselves in a life-threatening storm. Although they were experienced fishermen, they feared for their lives. The Lake of Galilee was known for its sudden storms which sank many boats because of its fierce winds which swept down from the nearby mountains. The disciples must have called out for their Master to come and rescue them. Although Jesus was not with them in the boat, he, nonetheless watched for them in earnest prayer. When he perceived their trouble and heard their cries, he came out to them walking on the troubled waters. The disciples were terrified rather than joyful when they saw Jesus' presence on the water. They couldn't believe it was really him until he spoke words of assurance: "Dont give in to fear or panic, but take courage and be calm, because I am here for you and ready to help you in your need." Jesus not only calmed their fears, but the threatening waves and storm as well.
Does the Lord seem distant when trials and difficulties come your way? The Lord nevers leaves us alone, but keeps constant watch over us at all times, especially when we are tempted and feel weak or helpless. Do you look to the Lord to give you his strength and help when you are in need? Jesus assures us that we do not have to give into fear or discouragement if we put our trust in Him and remember his great love for us. He will see us through any trial that comes our way. When calamities and trials threaten to overwhelm you, do you respond with faith and hope in God's loving care and presence with you?
"Lord, may I never doubt your saving help and your ever watchful presence,
especially in times of adversity. Fortify my faith with courage and my hope
with perseverance that I may never waver in my trust in you".
Psalm 72:1-2, 10-13
1 Give the king your justice, O God, and your righteousness to the royal
2 May he judge your people with righteousness, and your poor with justice!
10 May the kings of Tarshish and of the isles render him tribute, may the kings of Sheba and Seba bring gifts!
11 May all kings fall down before him, all nations serve him!
12 For he delivers the needy when he calls, the poor and him who has no helper.
13 He has pity on the weak and the needy, and saves the lives of the needy.