Are We There Yet?
Featuring Branon Dempsey Posted on May 26, 2008
Remember this statement as a kid? Ah, the memories of childhood car rides. Who said these days were over? I have a confession: I am still just as impatient.
Yesterday in church, we gave a big salute to our graduating high school seniors. Our pastor gave a message that applied to each of us on the journey of life. It is so easy to get so focused on the destination that we lose perspective. It’s so easy to feel that our current circumstance will never change. Time seems to suspend for an eternity. Does God see or hear us? Will He tell us how much farther we need to go? It’s amazing how impatient we become for a moment that will soon pass. Once we arrive at our destination we have two responses: 1. Wow! This is incredible! 2. Wow, that’s it? What I am finding more and more is the reality of our second response. We may not see the beauty we expected, but we find a grander picture in other ways unexpected.
It’s only when we stop and spot check what’s behind us, that a different perspective takes place. We see all the mountains and valleys we’ve traveled through all the windy roads. As we experience all kinds of weather and terrain as we soon develop an appreciation for our journey. I know in my life I look for the final result – the final destination. However, the process we undergo defines the making of what God is completing within us. Mark 4:35-41 takes on a whole new meaning as we fix our eyes on the here and now.
Right now you may be waiting or in the middle of pursuing what God has called you to; however, you may feel the bumps or the twisty turns in the road. Yes, these are trials, whether if we like them or not. No matter if we acknowledge them or not, trials are what they are. Here’s the kicker, James 1:2 tells us to “count it all joy when we fall into various trials.” What” Are you kidding me? I ‘m just trying to cross over to the other side!
Here’s the scene: the Messiah finishes preaching to a large crowd about the Kingdom of God. When evening came, Jesus tells his disciples to get in the boat and cross over the lake. The furious storm/squall attacks the boat. Imagine this: a canopy of darkness preys over the defenseless ship. Lightning rods plummet the surface like cannon blasts of war. Water begins to invade portions of the ship as the vile wind rips holes in the sails by its gusts of laughter. Huge waves topple the vessel like a toy in the Goliath like surge. What does any normal person do in this situation? Panic. The apostles desperately fear for their lives in search for Jesus to rescue them. Where do we find Jesus? Asleep on a cushion? In this mess? As the story continues, Jesus gets up, rebukes the storm and questions the disciples for their lack of faith.
The interesting point I find? Jesus, being God in the flesh, foreknew that a storm was coming when he told his disciples to follow him into the boat. Jesus had no worry in the storm. He was at rest because he knew where the Father was taking them. In this picture, the disciples were beyond an are-we-there-yet perspective and now in a are-we-going-to-die perspective.
I trust that you can relate with this scenario. We have our points of worry, fear and panic. We each seek a resolution in order to locate our destination. The truth is our journey will not be completed until we cross Heaven’s finish line.
What astounds me in this passage? Jesus at full rest in the storm. He was at complete peace and in the calm of the Father. The peace and trust of Christ calls us to join him. No matter the storm, no matter the outcome. God knows exactly what he is doing. It’s only human to ask “are we there yet?” and even, “are we going to die?” This is our flesh speaking. It’s only the peace of Christ that reminds us that he is our shelter in the storm (Isa. 25:4). He is our Light in the darkness (Jn. 8:12). He is our strength when we are weak (Ps. 46:1); he is also our guide when our roads are crooked (Pr. 3:6). God controls the heavens as he speaks over the waters (Ps. 29:3). Jesus assures us of our peace (Jn. 16:33).
Are we there yet? This question is both direct and rhetorical. In a weird way, the answer is “yes.” As we trust in the Savior’s peace, we are right where he wants us to be. As we rely on God’s ways and commit our faith to Him, he will always lead us in paths of peace (Prv. 3). At this point, the destination doesn’t matter as much. We are by his side and held in his grip.