Don’t Just Read the Story – Keep the Conversation Going

Don't just read the story

Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him.
Mark 4:36 (NIV)

As she reads Mark 4:36-19, I listen intently. At first, the first word lingers: “Leaving…” Jesus is leaving the crowd behind.

She reads the passage again.
I move with her this time. With Jesus.

I feel the wind, the cold air blowing on the disciples, as they leave safety behind, heading into a storm, one not of their own making.

I shiver.

Where is Jesus? Asleep? Of all things. In the back of the boat.

Anger arises. Doesn’t he know—or worse—doesn’t he care? They are in danger! Their very lives hang on the mercy of wind and water.

Or on Jesus.

Jesus. Don’t you care? I’ve left the crowds for you. Am I in danger now? Are you really sleeping?

I’ve heard the story before. So many times. I know what happens next.

But I listen again. A third reading. This time takes me beyond. It’s no longer just a story of historical facts, of Jesus’ commanding power over nature.

Now it’s an invitation.
To me from him.
I take it personally.

The winds and the waves may splash, soaking me in an angry torrent. But is there a safer place to be than traveling with Jesus?

Even when I’m not sure where we’re going.
Even when I think he’s sleeping.
He’s still in control.
Of me.

Peace, O soul. Be still.

I shiver again, this time in awe at his supremacy, appreciating the authority behind his words, imagining what they meant to his followers on that journey, knowing what they mean to this follower on mine.

Oh, the grace. Oh, the freedom.

  • If Jesus is with me, I’ll leave behind my comfort.
  • If Jesus is with me, no tempest can shake my grip.
  • If Jesus is with me, calling peace, I’ll be still and receive.

I yield to his command.

My soul settles into the quiet, the stillness, on this peaceful side of leaving.Regardless of my new destination, my passage is secure—I’m journeying in the boat with Jesus.

I’ll stay the course.

Instead of rereading the words of the story that changed lives then—“Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”—and changes lives now, she invites us to talk of them. To keep the conversation going between Father and child, between brothers and sisters.

I pray for her, my new friend. Another new friend prays for me. He whispers words in silence for my journey of leaving, yet traveling in safety with Jesus, for staying the course.

In such stillness, there is peace.

I am still.
He is my peace.

* * *

The Bible story is an invitation. Don’t just read it. Take it personally. Keep the conversation going.

Listening to his stories still move us. What story has taught you anew lately?

revised from the archives

19 thoughts on “Don’t Just Read the Story – Keep the Conversation Going

  1. Martha J Orlando

    Amen, Lisa! We do need to keep the conversation going long after a verse is read, letting the words attach themselves to our very being. So glad Jesus is with us no matter where our journeys take us!
    Blessings!

  2. floyd

    Wow. Powerful post, Lisa.

    It’s a gift to listen and see with our soul. The miracles God supplies are much more than just our amazing senses. We go so far beyond them when we search with our heart.

    Thanks for the beautiful reminder of that.

  3. Betty Draper

    We are on a vacation of sort, staying in a rv we leave parked at our daughters and family in northern Mn. It is so relaxing and we so needed to be here even though we have been super busy helping them with some projects they need done before the snow flies again. Being more relaxed because of its our family my heart has been open lately and God has been flowing His heart into mine. Ace and I have talked more freely then usual. I staying in my PJ longer then usual, reading, reading, reading. I have been helping my daughter declutter which I love to do if one is willing, she is. And I have been listening to my soul, I sense some more freedom coming my way, not sure what God is up to yet but I am not afraid. I think there might be a move coming for us. We rent a big house with our son and family in Ca. they are looking to buy a house. Yep, a change is coming and I heard Him tell me in my spirit because I was still and listening. Praise God for time to relax.

  4. Michele Morin

    I had this very same experience recently with the dad in Mark 9 who brings his son to the disciples, and then to Jesus, for deliverance from a demon. The lessons there are multiple and layered: for parenting, for ministry.
    Thanks for taking me along on your own Scripture journey. It certainly is living and powerful!

  5. Laurie

    It is amazing how we learn something new from even very familiar stories in the Bible when we change our own perspective. Keeping the conversation going helps us to grow in ways we may not have expected. Beautiful post!

  6. Yvonne Chase

    Thanks for the reminder that Jesus is always in control no matter what. “Even when I’m not sure where we’re going. Even when I think he’s sleeping. He’s still in control. Of me.” Amen! Taking it personally is powerful!

  7. Alice V Walters

    Dear Lisa, I love this account and your reflection upon it! How blessed to be among other believers who are choosing to go deeper. Peace, don’t we all long for it? And Jesus makes it so easy for us if we’ll only respond to His invitation to come away. Thank you for sharing. Blessings!

  8. Jennifer

    No matter how many times I read a Bible account…there is always something fresh. Isn’t amazing – and wonderful? This week, God spoke to me through the Samaritan woman at the well. As if I had read it for the first time. I love it when that happens!!

  9. Rebecca Hastings

    I’m not good at yielding. I *think* I see what needs to happen and how to do it and I push through. But I’m not right. He is. He always is. He’s softening my heart to yield more everyday I am willing.

  10. Aryn The Libraryan 📚

    “Don’t just read it, take it personally”
    I’m immersed in Esther right now. Whole new perspective on all the players. Between an in depth study and an incredible sermon series, (and looking forward to an ARC of a new novel) I’m learning so much.

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