“He saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them.” Mark 6:48
Jesus always sees our toils and distresses in this world. We do not see Him — and sometimes we think that He has forgotten us; but that is never true. He never forgets us, nor is He indifferent for a moment.
During the Franco-Prussian war, while a battle was in progress, stood a group of men watching the struggling armies on the plain below. In this group was the American general Philip Sheridan, who watched the mighty strife with the keen eye of a soldier. King Wilhelm I was also there; but his interest was different from Sheridan’s. His son Friedrich was in the thick of the fight — and he watched the battle with the eye of a father, as well as that of a king.
Just so, Christ looks down upon our struggles in this world. He sees us straining and toiling; He beholds all our battles and strifes. He sees us in the waves and in the storm. He sees us, not merely with the eye of the calm spectator — but with the eye of tenderest love.
This is a great thought. If we can only get it into our hearts — it will give us wondrous courage in the hour of toil, sorrow, or struggle. Jesus knows when the battle is hard, when the night is dark, and when the temptation is more than we can bear.
The winds were against His disciples — even though Christ sent them out to sea. We learn here, that even when we are doing the things God which has bidden us do — we may encounter great opposition and difficulty. We may even be beaten back, and find the trial too great for our strength. Many of the Lord’s disciples have to make their voyage over very stormy seas — on their way to glory. For some, duty is often very hard. Indeed, a true, noble, courageous, holy life — must always exist in the face of opposition and contrary winds.
J.R. Miller was a pastor and former editorial superintendent of the Presbyterian Board of Publication from 1880 to 1911. His works are now in the public domain.