What is Seen and What is Unseen
By Rev Arnold Chow
February 12, 2023
The crowds crossing the road to go to Fortress Hill MTR Station can easily see our church’s glass-wall mural above them. In the mural, the Lord Jesus holds out His hand to the people – a scene from His walking on the water (Matthew 14:30-31). The mural was the work of a brother, a visual artist, who spent 10 months creating it. It was put up last October during our church’s anniversary when the outer glass-wall of the church building was renovated. Together with the new spotlights and the lights behind the cross, it is hoped that more of those braving the sea of life will see a church that lifts up the cross of Christ.
After the miracle of the five loaves and two fish, Jesus dismissed the crowd and did not ask anyone to stay behind to help. Instead, He asked His disciples to get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side. In the middle of the night, “the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it” (v.24). “Buffeted” in the original language means “troubled greatly.” The last time when they crossed the sea in inclement weather, the disciples saw the miracle of Jesus calming the storm and waves. But this time…
The Lord is unseen but He is still watching over
In the sea of life, there must have been times when you have to sail against the odds. Waves after waves “greatly trouble” you – physical illness, the love and hate of family members, worries for your children, tension in marriage, bottlenecks at work, social changes… In the midst of all this, it is really not easy to see God’s presence.
Nevertheless, not seeing Him does not mean He is not present. After dismissing the crowd, “he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray” (v.23). Those who have visited the mountainside neighboring the Sea of Galilee will know that on the mountain, there is a broad view of the ships sailing in the Sea of Galilee.
Jesus prayed on the mountain and He always remembered His disciples. Though the disciples did not see the Lord, He was still watching over them.
Seeing the Lord’s presence and recognizing His deeds:
The Lord did not wait until dawn to go to His disciples by boat. He walked on the rough water to His disciples. At the darkest hour, the disciples could barely see a figure approaching and were terrified. The Lord was intervening in their difficulties in a way beyond the disciples’ imagination, but they did not realize that. Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid” (v.27).
Sometimes, the Lord would come into our predicament in a way unfamiliar to us. May the Lord help us see and recognize His deeds.
Seeing hardship remains but whoever calls on the Lord’s name will be saved
Then, Jesus allowed Peter to come to Him on the water. But when Peter saw that the wind was still strong, his faith was shaken and he began to sink. Before he was drowned, he cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’” “Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him” (vv. 30-31).
Today, is your life sinking? Just call on the name of the Lord, for “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10:13).
About a month after our church’s glass-wall mural was put up, a newcomer told the ushers that he walked into the church to seek the truth because he saw the mural. Praise the Lord!