(RETURN TO REFLECTIONS)
Journeying to the Other Side “On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, ‘Let us cross over to the other side.’”    Mark 4:35   The disciples got into the boat with assurance in their hearts.  Jesus said they’d go over to the other side.  As evening turned to night, confident expectation turned to fear. The boat rocked, the waves crashed, and the water wickedly taunted them as it flooded over the sides. The sky angrily cursed the disciples with every clash of thunder.  Where was Jesus?  Why wasn’t He with them in their fright?  He was sleeping!  He was sleeping?  “Didn’t he care (vs. 38)?” was their accusation.  He WAS with them in the boat, but not with them on their level. On their “surface level” they saw only the tormentors: the sea, the sky, the wind, the mere natural elements that can change so quickly.  Jesus was at rest, sleeping in full faith (Ps. 46:10). Did He not say they’d make it to the other side?  He arose at their accusation, rebuked the storm, “Peace, be still,”  then he rebuked them saying, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” Their eyes turned from the elements to the Creator.    Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, in faith, boldly spoke to their tormentor, Nebuchadnezzar, “we have no need to answer you in this matter… our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from this burning fiery furnace … yet, even if He doesn’t we won’t bow (Daniel 3:16-8).” Bow to what? Bow to the demands of the natural tormentors.  And Jesus, who walked with them in the fire (vs. 25), delivered them unharmed.   Esther, who was compelled to defend her people from perishing, even if it meant her demise, boldly stated, “If I perish, I perish.” (Esther 3:16)   What is the other side?  It is something greater than a sandy shoreline.  It is that place of trusting Him in all things.  We can cross through all trials and torments by faith in His promise of full redemption. Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ (Rom. 8:35). We are more than conquerors through Him who loves us (vs. 37). In times of change, natural and political threats, demonic assaults, etc. remember that we remain covered by His loving promise.  Whether the journey takes us to a natural place to minister deliverance to others  (Mark 5:1-20),or to the place of yielding up our lives, we can, as Jesus, rest in peace in the midst of every storm.    For as we abide in Him alone, we abide in His promise of glory!     Walking by faith, Pastor Sharon Carlson 9/14