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Behind and Ahead

That evening his disciples went down to the shore to wait for him. But as darkness fell and Jesus still hadn't come back, they got into the boat and headed out across the lake toward Capernaum. But soon a gale swept down upon them as they rowed, and the sea grew very rough. They were three or four miles out when suddenly they saw Jesus toward the boat! They were terrified, but he called out to them and told them not to be afraid. Then they were willing to let him in, and immediately the boat was where they were going!

The next morning, back across the lake, crowds began gathering on the shore [waiting to see Jesus]. Fir they knew that he and his disciples had come over together and that the disciples had gone off in their boat, leaving him behind, so when the people saw that Jesus wasn't there, nor his disciples, they got into the boats and went across to Capernaum to look for him. John 6: 16-24 (TLB)

[The LORD] guides me along the right paths for his name's sake. Psalm 23:3 (NIV)

Keith Honeyman, from Western Cape, South Africa, is facing south on a long, narrow strip of land that is nearly at the southernmost point of Africa. Sometimes it is calm and beautiful at Cape Point, but today it is buffeted by storms. The raging Atlantic Ocean is on his right and the turbulent Indian Ocean to his left. Keith had walked bravely but with trepidation to his present position below the towering lighthouse that has guided mariners for many years. Behind Keith is the solid bulk of the African continent, and far ahead of him, unseen beyond the horizon but certain in his mind, is Antarctica. Keith stands awed and exhilarated.

Keith likens his situation in this moment to his life in Christ. At times calm, at times buffeted and storm-tossed. He ha walked bravely along a narrow path. But Jesus is his eternal beacon. If Keith listens carefully he can hear his voice calming the waters and bidding him to keep the faith, knowing that behind him is the solid ground of forgiveness, power, and love. Ahead of him, unseen and awesome but certain, lies eternity with Christ.

Prayer: O God, grant us strength and guidance when we encounter the stormy gales of life. Help us to be beacons of your grace and shelter for others, in Jesus' name. Amen.


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