Today’s reading: Mark 4:35-41
Thoughts to Ponder: His Truth is unaffected by our circumstances, no matter how real they seem to be…
What is Reality?
Wikipedia defines reality as the state of things as they actually exist. Merriam-Webster defines reality as anything that is “existing as a physical entity and having properties that deviate from an ideal, law, or standard; of or relating to practical or everyday concerns or activities”.
Basing on the definitions above, we can conclude that reality is too often subjective to how the person perceives something, normally through one or all of his 5 senses (usually sight). I sometimes imagine how a person born blind defines reality. And to make things more complicated, with the advent of computers and advanced technology, nowadays we now have simulated reality, virtual reality and augmented reality. How then can we say, which one is real? And what really is real?
In Mark 4:35-41, there is a story that tells about how the disciples were led to recognize the Truth, rather than believing what they used to call reality.
“35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”
39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
41 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”
In this story, the disciples are seasoned fishermen by profession. They know the sea for most of their lives. They know when a wind is dangerous and when it is not. To them, at that moment, this is the reality: that the wind is too strong for the boat and that they are going to perish. To them, the reality they are facing spells imminent death. Their reality stirred fear in the heart.
But, at the far side of the boat, is the Truth. Who does not recognize the danger being presented by the fisherman’s “reality”. His Truth is unaffected by the circumstances, no matter how real they seem to be. In the end, the Truth stood up and demonstrated His power not just over the threat of these realities, but also over reality itself.
In this life, we have our own realities. How we perceive things around us defines the way we perceive reality. Often, our realities chain us to doubt and fear. Even right now, I know most of us are still struggling with the truth and reality in different areas of our lives; but the Lord is full of grace and will not allow us to remain in that pitiful state. Just like what Jesus did to the disciples in verse 35, He will bring us to situations in our lives that puts us in a personal encounter between reality and the Truth. These are necessary for our growth, as it will bring us to recognition of who He really is. He is King over the storms of our lives, Lord over the flood — and the undeniable truth is that He is God who loves us unconditionally and beyond compare.
Our realities in this world may seem unbearable. But fear not, He has conquered the world. He delights in revealing Himself until we know His Truth, and when we know his Truth, His Truth shall set us free.
Beloved brethren, have faith, because faith is the difference between truth and reality.