The miracle was a long way behind them. They were rowing into the unknown. They had left Jesus on a distant hilltop. Now they found themselves surrounded by a terrible storm. The waves are threatening their very survival. The wind is against them. They are surrounded by all the sound and fury of the elements. What can they do? They can only row.
But rowing isnít Ďworking.í Itís not an answer. As a solution to the peril they are in, it is almost nothing. Almost. When rowing is the only thing left you can do, do it! It isnít much, but do it! It isnít enough, but do it! You do it because you are in a boat in the middle of a storm and all you have left are the oars you hold in your hands. You do it, not because you expect to be delivered by it, but because it is all that remains between going on and giving up. While you row, you hope.
Rowing isnít much but it is more than we think. From a seamanship point of view, it may not give you enough momentum to drive you forward, but it keeps the prow of the boat pointing into the waves. Exactly where it needs to be. If we stop rowing, the waves turn us broadside and it is only a matter of time before wind and wave break over the boat and all is lost.
Seamanship of course isnít everything. Even headed into the waves, water continually breaks into the boat. You can bail, but the blunt truth of the matter is, there is more water under you than your boat can carry and it is still only a matter of time. But thatís the whole point. God has put you in the storm. It is not a mistake. The disciples were moving from one divine appointment to another. It was no wonder the storm came! On that fearful lake, battling a wind they could not overcome and waves they could not outrun, they were still between what God did before and what he planned to do after. And so are we! The disciples were not supposed to conquer the storm without the intervention of Jesus. They were supposed to keep rowing until he got there!
Rowing is not the solution to the storm. It is the solution to staying afloat until Christ comes. Rowing gives you the best chance of keeping more water out of the boat, so you keep rowing. Rowing wonít get you to your destination. Rowing will keep you where you need to be until Jesus comes to where you are. When everything else is gone, keep rowing. When wind and wave are against you, keep rowing. When all you have left is the hope He will come Ė KEEP ROWING!
Donít be surprised if you see little change and no progress. It isnít what happens when you row thatís the issue. Itís what happens if you stop! He is the master of the storm. So whatever you do, keep rowing until He comes!