Daily Reading and Devotional from the Gospels
53 And when they had passed over, they came into the land of Gennesaret, and drew to the shore. 54 And when they were come out of the ship, straightway they knew him, 55 And ran through that whole region round about, and began to carry about in beds those that were sick, where they heard he was. 56 And whithersoever he entered, into villages, or cities, or country, they laid the sick in the streets, and besought him that they might touch if it were but the border of his garment: and as many as touched him were made whole.
In yesterday’s reading the disciples had gotten on a boat with the intention of sailing across the Sea of Galilee to Bethsaida.
Mark 6:45 And straightway he constrained his disciples to get into the ship, and to go to the other side before unto Bethsaida, while he sent away the people.
They spent hours trying to get there but due to contrary winds they could not. They fought the winds and waves until in the middle of the night Jesus came to their rescue. He came walking on the water, got in their boat and calmed the storm. When they finally made it to the other side we see that the winds had taken them somewhere else.
Mark 6:53 And when they had passed over, they came into the land of Gennesaret, and drew to the shore.
Instead of Bethsaida which is in the Northeastern corner of Galilee they had been driven to the western side of the lake instead. It turned out to be a great thing because there were many in the surrounding areas that were anxious to see Jesus and passionately wanting his help. They obviously had heard about some of the most famous of our Lord’s miracles because they seem to be following some of those examples. They brought the sick in beds like those four men who had let their friend down through the broken ceiling in Capernaum, and they begged for him to let them touch the hem of his garment like the lady who had been delivered from a twelve year long bout with a blood disease. The Lord did great things there that day, in part because of a storm that changed their course.
So, what practical lessons can we learn from this story?
First, we must recognize that the storms we face can move us from our intended destinations but we must open up to the possibility that God may have just used the storm to send us where he wanted us all along. Perhaps, the storm sent us into a place of greater usefulness, greater blessing and greater opportunities. Sometimes the storm sends us to places that we would have never gone otherwise. I have spoken to so many people who are thankful for the way the storm moved them. I know a women whose adulterous husband left her alone with a couple of kids, struggling to pay the bills and make ends meet. Her storm drove her to a place she never wanted to be but a great, Godly man who would love her was waiting on the other side. She is thankful for the storm. I know a man who testified at our church about how thankful he was that he had lost his job. Can you believe that? His lost his job and had the time to spend with his dad who had been diagnosed with cancer. He lost his job and found a new one caring for his dad in the last days of his life. He testified that without the unwanted storm he would have lived the rest of his life with unresolved feelings and regret. The storm moved him to a place of opportunity and blessing. I could go on, but who wants an all day devotional? A second lesson to be learned from these verses is the usefulness of a testimony. Letting someone know the unique way God has worked in your life might strike a nerve in and help somebody see what he can do in their situation or motivate them to let him use them like he has others. So, share the story of your storms and how the Savior used them in your life.