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Thursday, 13 March 2014

The Fourth Watch

 "And he saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them: and about the fourth watch of the night he cometh unto them" Mark 6:48

This is one of those scriptures that will change your life.

To more fully understand this passage lets give a little bit of background, and give it a setting. King Herod had just ordered the death or John the baptist. John was the forerunner for Jesus Christ. In my mind, Christ and John knew each other well, and John understood our saviour and his role better than possibly any man on earth at the time. When Christ heard about John's death he and the Twelve Disciples left to go into privacy. Many of the people saw them and knew them and ran to go be with them, so when they came to the other shore there was a large group of people waiting. 

He has compassion on the people and teaches them. He feeds five thousand men with five loaves and two fishes. At the end of his sermon he sent the Disciples away on a ship, and he went into a mountain to be alone and to pray. From the mountain he could see the Disciples on the sea. And here is where Mark 6:48 comes in. 

My dad owns a small catamaran. A little sail boat. We used to go out on the water all the time. It was loads of fun! Until you were sailing into the wind. When the wind is going the wrong way, you have to pull out your oars and row. And it is hard work. This is what the 12 were doing. Lots of hard work. 

At that time, time was measured a bit differently. six o'clock in the morning was the first hour, then seven was the second hour and so on and so forth until six o'clock in the evening. That is how daytime was measured. night time was measured in watches. In four three hour blocks. So the fourth watch is from 3 o'clock in the morning to 6 o'clock in the morning. 

Now just imagine for a second how the Disciples
 must be feeling. As soon as they heard the report of John's death they ran and reported to Christ. The prepared a boat, and sailed across to another shore where they taught all day and distributed food to five thousand people (at least). Then, without a break (The record says straightway) they got into a boat again and sailed against the wind in a storm. For nine hours. They must have been emotionally, physically, and spiritually drained. What happens next is incredible. Christ calms the sea. but we have to ask, why did he wait until the fourth watch? 

Here's another story to turn your attention to. Did you see the same principle? God waited. Can't God show himself in glorious splendour and relive all of our troubles and trials at any moment? Of course. But he waits. 

Remember he is waiting. Sometimes it feels like you're stuck in the second watch, and all you can see is storms and seas, but remember, he's there. He's mindful of YOU. He is aware. Keep your eyes turned to him. Pray with patience, because he will come. In fact, he is on his way. Stay steady, stay sure. Let the fourth watch come. 


  1. Elder DeBry, this is so beautiful. It brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing this scripture and your testimony that Jesus Christ lives, and that He loves us and is always ready to help us. I love my Savior, and I am so grateful to be a part of His true church. Thank you for your dedicated service to Him and to His children everywhere.

    1. Thank you so much! :) I'm so grateful to be able to help bring people closer to him!