But this time – the action is on our part. Not just the part of The Christ.
When the disciples cried out to Jesus, “Do you not care that we are perishing?”
The verb for “perishing” is the same verb that is used later when Jesus talked to them about what it costs to be at one with God. The Greek word for “Lose,” except in a different verb tense and form.
Jesus was telling the disciples and those following him (the crowd), “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it.” (Mark 8:34-37)
Read it now in The Message translation. It does an excellent job of phrasing it in such a way it becomes very real for our lives.
The Message (MSG)
34-37 Calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to saving yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you? What could you ever trade your soul for?
I feel confident none of us want to “trade our soul.” But when we allow things that disconnect us from our true selves, our innermost self, the self that is at one with God, God’s presence and power in our own lives, then we trade our soul.
Fear, anxiety, worry – all those things that have been mentioned in the previous devotions/posts, those disconnect us from our inner/true selves. They drive us away from the presence and wholeness of God.
We are not perishing in a bad way. . . perhaps we are perishing in the good! Maybe we NEED to perish! Maybe we can start today . . . and knowing that we are going to sail right INTO the storm, maybe we can lie down on a cushion in the smallest boat in the most turbulent sea and know that all it takes is the exclamation: “Peace! Be Still!” and we will arrive on the other side of the sea.