On the Way to the Other Side
On that day, when evening had come, Jesus said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” 36 And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. 37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. 38 But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” 39 And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40 He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” 41 And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” – Mark 4:35-41
Maybe you’ve had the feeling. You want to get away. Out of Dodge. To somewhere. Anywhere. Other than where you are. That’s especially likely to be true these days. Covid has us on lockdown, or nearly so. Lots of us are not ready to fly. Others just don’t have the courage to brave an unknown place with unknown or unverifiable cleaning protocols. So we stay hunkered down.
But it’s not always a reasonable decision to go or not. Some families will go shopping, out to eat, send their children to school or child care, but not gather for worship. They’re just not ready they say. Others are so consumed by fear that they won’t venture outside their home at all. Still others are ready to go anywhere at the hint of an invitation or opportunity’s knock.
For most of us these days, the idea going over to the other side has a peculiar appeal. We want to go for reasons we may not even realize. Still Jesus invited the disciples to go with him to the other side. He invites us to do the same. For this is an invitation to an adventure.
What appears likely to be random is much more intentional than they might imagine. He will lead them into a raging storm. They will see his mighty power. He will (spoiler alert!) encounter a demon-possessed man. Jesus is literally on a mission for God. He is the mission of God in the flesh.
I believe Jesus is inviting us daily to go over to the other side. Along with that he is inviting us to an adventure of faith and mission. We will encounter storms of all kinds. We will see his glory. We will discover his heart. We will be part of a story of life and redemption as we interact with others along the way.
I wonder what kinds of encounters await you today. Will there be people you meet who need your kindness and love? Will you have the opportunity to show how God’s power has worked in your life? Are you ready to look to Jesus in the midst of the crisis, believing that he will help? What awaits you on the other side of the lake you’re crossing? You’ll only know if you head out for the other side – whatever that means for you.