The Gospel of Mark: a commentary & meditation 
"Prepare and make his path straight"

 "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: What grips your heart and mind when adversity strikes? Is it fear or panic?  While panic may seem like the most natural reaction, Jesus expected more from his disciples.   "Perfect love casts out fear" (1 John 4:18).  It was at Jesus' initiative that the disciples sailed across the lake, only to find themselves in a life-threatening storm. Although they were experienced fishermen, they feared for their lives. Although Jesus was not with them in the boat, he, nonetheless watched for them in prayer. When he perceived their trouble he came to them on the sea and startled them with his sudden appearance.

Does the Lord seem distant when trials or adversity come your way?  The Lord keeps watch over us at all times, and especially in our moments of temptation and difficulty.  Do you rely on the Lord for his strength and help?  Jesus assures us that we have no need of fear if we trust in Him and in his great love for us.   When calamities or trials threaten to overwhelm you, how do you respond? With faith and hope in God's love, 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".

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 (c) 2000 Don Schwager