Now it came to pass on a certain day, that he went into a ship with his disciples: and he said to them…
If prayer were always followed by a miraculous answer, then prayer would be easy enough; or, on the other hand, if there were no thought of an answer, then it might be possible, though not easy, to submit ourselves to the inevitable. But to pray, and not to receive an answer, and yet to believe that the very not receiving is an answer; to cry, "Save, or we perish," and to seem about to perish; to believe that in what seems perishing is really salvation; to look for the living and watchful Christ, and to see what seems only the sleeping and regardless Christ, and yet to believe that the time will come when, at His word, there shall be a great calm — this is the patience, this is the faith of those who worship an incarnate Lord. And so we trace the history of Christ's Church, and so we strive to trace the history of our own lives. Comparatively easy it is to trace the Church's history along her voyage. The Church gives time for comparing events and testing faith; and so, believing still in the presence of her living Lord, the litanies of His Church ring oat, as they have ever rung, clearly and loudly, and high above the roar of the tempest and the rushing of the waters, still the prayer is heard, "Good Lord, deliver us"; and still again and again, as the storm sweeps by, and the Church passes out into calmer waters, still comes the voice of thanksgiving, "He hath delivered us." Even in our shorter voyage are there none of us who can remember times when we have knelt in agony and wrestled in prayer with the Saviour, who seemed to have forgotten us, when the mighty storm of temptation and the billows of calamity seemed about to destroy us, and when we have cried to Him to save us, and He has seemed to sleep and to refuse to save? But at the last we can remember how He did reveal Himself, not stilling the raging storm when we would have had Him still the terrible tempest, not sparing, it may be, the precious bark that we had rigged, and manned, and launched ourselves with trembling hopes and loving prayers, and watched with eyes tearless with agony, as we saw it about to sink before us; and we have been led to see and believe that the living and loving Lord was answering even then our prayer, for the bark has at length entered that haven where we would be, and where the vexed waters of our voyage never awake a ripple on the calm depths of its eternal peace.
(Bp. W. C. Magee.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Now it came to pass on a certain day, that he went into a ship with his disciples: and he said unto them, Let us go over unto the other side of the lake. And they launched forth.
WEB: Now it happened on one of those days, that he entered into a boat, himself and his disciples, and he said to them, "Let's go over to the other side of the lake." So they launched out.