In the fourth chapter of Mark, we find the disciples in the middle of a nightmare. The boat they are in is sinking. They are too far out in the sea to swim, and their screams aren’t getting the job done. Water is sweeping over the sides of the ship, the wind is howling and the thunder is rolling. Mark even records that the boat was full of water. All of a sudden, Jesus steps to the bow of the boat and speaks peace to the storm.
The wind stops howling and the seas cease their rolling. Great. Crisis avoided. But, the bible never says that Jesus picked up a pail and bailed out any water from the boat. Jesus stopped the storm, you bail out the water.
That just seems to be how Jesus works with us. He will stop our storms, but we will have to deal with the by-products. If we are going to make it on this Jesus journey, we will have to learn how to believe Jesus to work in our situations, all the while knowing that we are going to be bailing some water from time to time.
Jesus can forgive you of your sins … you need to change your habits.
Jesus can give you freedom from addiction … you will need to throw out the drugs.
Jesus can heal your body … you will need to change your eating habits.
Jesus can restore your marriage … you will have to adjust your behavior.
Somewhere I heard a wise man say that we would have to work out our own salvation. Sounds like we need to keep a pail nearby … just in case.