February 25, 2008
And he saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them: and about the fourth watch of thenight he cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, and would have passed by them. But when they saw him walking upon the sea, they supposed it had been a spirit, and cried out: For they all saw him, and were troubled. And immediately he talked with them, and saith unto them, Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid. Mark 6:48-50.
If you have trigeminal neuralgia or neuropathic facial pain, you may understand how contrary the wind can be. I remember how it scalded my face and caused electrocution-type pains to rivet through me. For many years the thought of wind, the experience of trigeminal pain, and the approaching of the night caused me to have great fear.
In this passage in Mark, the disciples had just experienced a miracle. They had watched Jesus bless five loaves of bread and two fish. Through His blessing, the loaves and the fishes multiplied and fed a multitude. Firsthand, the disciples saw Jesus do what no human could. With little time to bask in the glory of this event, the disciples climbed into a boat to cross the sea. Jesus was not with them, and they encountered the wind’s turbulent resistance. They became afraid, and they did not recognize Jesus as He walked toward them. These mere humans forgot about the miracle they just witnessed.
Several years ago, fear stopped me from realizing Jesus was with me. I believed if the pain would leave, so would the fear. I did not understand that faith had to remain strong in spite of the pain. Jesus witnessed of Himself to my spirit. He asked me to have faith in Him, to seize His peace, and to overcome my fear. My mind and my flesh resisted this message, and I continued to ask for healing. I did not want to find solace in the fact that Jesus was approaching in the midst of the storm. I just wanted the wind to stop.
I wanted the assurance of healing before I was ready to relinquish the fear, but I learned faith does not work that way. The Lord wanted me to recognize His presence that was with me. He wanted me to remember some of the wonderful things He had done for me throughout my lifetime. I had difficulty remembering because the fear was like a fog that made things cloudy. The pain raged against me, causing me to panic – to panic as the disciples did when they rowed vigorously against the wind.
I’ll never understand just how the Lord helped me overcome my fear, but I know it was a process. As I cried out to Jesus for His mercy, He drew close to me. He reached out and touched me and made me whole again. The wind still blows, but it does not hurt. It feels so good against my face. As night approaches, I have no fear. Even when I don’t recognize His presence, Jesus is always with me.
Have you read With Great Mercy?