I was reading the gospel of Mark today, and I came across the part where Jesus is overwhelmed. Jesus has been doing his ministry, and people are coming from all over just to be healed by him. There is a line in Mark 3:9, "Because of the crowd, he told his disciples to have a small boat ready for him, to keep the people from crowding him." I take this two different ways. The first is that maybe he was preaching a little off the shore to have some distance between him and the people while creating a natural way for his voice to carry. The second is that he had bought nearby, and if he was feeling overwhelmed, he could escape. Either point has at the heart of it Jesus preparing for a crazy day that may end with him being overwhelmed.
I feel like this is a very human moment we are allowed to see of Jesus in the gospels. He knows the work he is going to be doing is hard. He knows that the day will be crazy. Jesus understands that he has gained enough popularity as a healer that people will be doing anything to be healed, even going so far as believing if they could touch him, they will be healed. I image this crowd level like they were for the Beatles. Everyone crowding around, seeking to be near him. Celebrities tell us that there is a claustrophobic feeling when dense crowds surround you.
I think it is safe to say Jesus knew the day was going to be overwhelming and he wanted to make sure when it hit that spot he had somewhere to go.
There are days when we wake up and know the day is going to be big, maybe even overwhelming. Those are hard and usually long days that leave us drained mentally, phyically, emotionally, or all of the above. Sometimes there are no good ways to avoid this day or even have a good way out like Jesus did. But I hope this scripture helps you in two ways.
First, it tells us Jesus asked for help from his friends. He asked them to be there for him and make sure he had a way out by the boat. I dont think we can always plan on a friend with a boat to get us out of hard days. However, I do believe having good friends to be with you at the end of that day can be life giving. On those hard or overwhelming days do not keep to yourself. Reach out to friends and allow others to help even if its just listening to your day or telling a joke to bring a smile to your face.
The second thing it tells us is that Jesus knows what it is like to be us. He knows the anxeity. Jesus knows the pressure. Jesus knows what is like to have an overwhelming day. Our God is not a far off God who doesn't know what its like to be human and therefore holds us to an impossible standard. No, our God knows what it is like to be overwhelmed and as you pray says back, "Oh yeah, this is gonna be a big day. I can relate." I hope and I pray that as we go through this life we are reminded that God is with us and God knows our struggles.
The beauty of the message from Mark's gospel today is that our faith in our God is not one built on perfection standards. Our faith is built on a God who humbles himself to be like us in every way that matters and is real, so that in every part of our lives we might know and draw strength from him.