The Hardened Heart

It was the most amazing thing.  these men had walked with Jesus and witnessed His miracles, His power, HIs ways, His teachings.  There probably was not much of Jesus that the disciples had not experienced.  In Mark 6 they had just been watching as Jesus broke the bread and fish and fed over 5,ooo people.  Then He sent them off across the lake in a boat while He went off by Himself to pray.

Scripture says that during the night He went to them walking on the water.  He was about to pass them by and they saw Him and were terrified because they thought He was a ghost.  Have you ever been that afraid that it was beyond fear, you were terrified?  Something strange happens in a person when they are that afraid.  Reason leaves them.  The thing that  they fear becomes greater as time goes on and fear can take over.  When this happens to the disciples,  it is somewhere between 3 and 6 a.m. so it is probably still dark and all of the sudden something…or someone is walking towards them on the water!  Fear took over.

Jesus identifies HImself and tells them not to be afraid and He gets into the boat.  The most “natural” thing happens…at least it’s natural in nature, the wind settles down for Jesus’ presence has settled it.  Jesus didn’t need to settle the storm for Himself.  He was in control of it and could have kept walking through it.  He settled it for them. He knew that the fear was taking over in them.  Mark 6:51 says that the disciples were completely amazed.  Maybe they are amazed because this vision of which they had been afraid was the One who had sent them across the lake and He didn’t need a boat to get to them.  Maybe they were amazed because the winds obeyed HIm.  Maybe they were amazed because once again, He showed who the power in who He really was.

But, what really caught my eye was what is in verse 51-52.  “They were completely amazed because they had not understood about the loaves; their hearts were hardened.”  The feeding of the 5,000 men, not to mention women and children, had just happened and yet they so quickly forgot.  They had seen His power.  They experienced what it was like to pick up 12 baskets full of leftovers…enough for each of them.  They saw Him take care of these people who had come to hear Him teach.  But they still didn’t get it.  When within the next few hours, they were put into a challenging, difficult, trying, and maybe dangerous situation…at least they thought it was dangerous…they forgot…they still didn’t get it.

When it says that their hearts were hardened, it wasn’t like they were opposing Jesus or anything He did or was doing but their hearts were not in line with His yet.  They were too dull and desensitized to life that they didn’t immediately resort to “Oh, remember, this is Jesus…He can deal with this…we have nothing to worry about.”  They were so used to facing situations themselves in their own power and trying to “fix” things themselves that they were relying on themself in this storm as well.

I wonder how many times my heart is hardened or dull or desensitized so much so that I don’t turn to God first…I try to “fix” it myself…which just makes more work for God as He has to undo what I did and do what He would have done if I had I let HIm do what He does His way to begin with…take care of the storm. 

“Dear Father, Today, may You be my first and only resort!  May You be my first answer, my only answer.  Please do not let my heart be so accustom and desensitized to my own way that I miss the blessing of doing it in Your way.  Take care of the fear I may feel as I learn to do this and let me trust You in the midst of the storm.”