Moving Forward

JESUS SPEAKING

      “Immediately He made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while He sent the multitude away.  And when He had sent them away, He departed to the mountain to pray.  Now when evening came, the boat was in the middle of the sea; and He was alone on the land.  Then He saw them straining at rowing, for the wind was against them.  Now about the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea, and would have passed them by.  And when they saw Him walking on the sea, they supposed it was a ghost, and cried out; for they all saw Him and were troubled.  But immediately He spoke to them, “Be of good cheer!  It is I; do not be afraid.”  Then He got into the boat with them, and the wind ceased.  And they were greatly amazed in themselves beyond measure, and marveled.” (Mark 6: 45 – 51)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

      Seeking solitude, the Lord insisted His disciples journey to the other side of the lake without Him.  During their voyage, a great wind rose up against them; preventing them from reaching their destination.  Filled with compassion, Jesus walked across the sea to meet them.  After a fearful exchange, He was received into the boat.  The wind and waves abruptly ceased, permitting the disciples to finally move forward.  Like that boat, many individuals today have reached a point of stagnation; they have become hopelessly trapped and unable to move forward.  Unfortunately, most are unaware that inviting Jesus Christ into their hearts is the key to making progress.

      In the 1890’s, a man named Melvin Trotter had reached just such an impasse.  The son of a drunken bartender, he began drinking and gambling at an early age.  After marrying, he started a career as a barber.  Unfortunately, his rampant alcoholism rendered him incapable of holding down a steady job.  He eventually began leaving his family for weeks at a time.  One day, upon returning home, he was informed that his two-year-old child had died.  Believing he was responsible, he contemplated suicide.  At the funeral, while standing beside the coffin, he vowed never to touch another drop of alcohol.  Two hours later he was drunk yet again.  In desperation, he stole the shoes from the body of his lifeless child and headed to Chicago, where he sold them for another drink.  Drunk and penniless he was nudged into the Pacific Garden Mission, where he accepted Jesus Christ into his heart.  His life was suddenly transformed.  God gave him the ability to work, to love, to live, and to stay sober.  He was finally free to move forward.  He began leading others to Christ and eventually started his own rescue mission. Melvin would later say, “I had taken cure after cure.  I had taken everything known to science and had made resolution after resolution.  But just one glimpse of Jesus Christ, and I have never wanted a drink from that instant to this!”

      Like Mr. Trotter, many will come to experience periods of stagnation.  Facing obstacles that appear immovable, they will struggle to uncover a solution.  And yet the only real remedy is to receive Jesus Christ; who can then eliminate those stubborn obstacles.  Upon entering the heart, He causes the wind and the waves to cease; only through His power can those who are trapped finally move forward.  May we all receive Jesus and be transformed by His mercy and grace.

      “Lord Heavenly Father, please soften the hearts of those who are suffering, that they would receive Your beloved Son.  By Your power, may they grow and learn, and be transformed.  As every obstacle is removed and every barrier is destroyed, may they be healed and continue moving forward.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you! 


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