Weathering the Storm

by 12:15 PM 0 comments
No matter our background, all of us face storms.  I think that's why the Bible references storms so often. They are tangible, all of us have seen a storm of some kind, and very often storms can cause fear.  A story that I recently saw in a different light is the one where Jesus walks on water.  You can find the disciple's narratives in Matthew 14, Mark 6 and John 6.

The Background:
Jesus has just preached (what was basically a marathon sermon) to several thousand people.  He's now told his disciples to go on ahead of Him while He dismisses the crowd of people. Mark 6:46 tells us that "...after he had taken leave of them, he went up on the mountain to pray."  Now, I'm going to just give a general overview of what happens next, but you really need to read all three accounts.

The disciples are in what amounts to a giant row boat.  They're rowing along and a wind kicks up that makes them have to row even harder.  Now, I've never rowed a boat, but I know it's EXHAUSTING.  Now imagine trying to row forward with a strong wind blowing your boat backward!

Night falls and the disciples are getting a little concerned.  Why?
(1) They're out in the middle of the sea, probably thinking their arms are about to fall off.
(2) The wind is working against them and is making the sea really rough.  Think giant, boat-eating waves of scariness.
(3) Jesus is not with them, in fact they left Jesus on shore.

I don't know about you guys, but when I'm tired, sore, and scared I get completely freaked out.  Now imagine feeling that way, there's no land in sight, and you look out and see..... A PERSON.  Ahhh!

Naturally, people don't just stroll along on choppy seas so Matthew 14:26 says "But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, 'It is a ghost!' and they cried out in fear."  Um yeah, I would have screamed like a school girl in a nest of spiders!

The Take:
I grew up in Church so you hear this story a lot, mostly as the set up for Peter walking on the water and sinking when he stopped "trusting" Jesus to hold him up.  Yes, that's true but I got something new out of the story this week.

Jesus could have calmed the storm, in fact He did just that earlier in Mark 4, Luke 8 and Matthew 8.  One word and the wind would have stopped, the seas would have calmed, and probably every fish in the sea would have pushed the disciples boat to shore if Jesus wanted them to.  Jesus doesn't do that.  He demonstrates what he'll spend eternity doing for us - MEETING US WHERE WE ARE IN OUR TIMES OF NEED.

Jesus wasn't going to be overwhelmed by a storm so He strolled out to the disciples. Meanwhile, they're tired and scared so seeing a person walk on water pushes them over the edge; now they're just freaking out!  But Jesus came to meet them in the midst of the storm, and when they started completely loosing it Jesus simply says (In Mark 6:50) "...for they all saw him and were terrified. But immediately he spoke to them and said, 'Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.'"  Peter's little test of faith comes next, but that's not where my focus is here.

My focus here is Jesus shows up in the middle of the sea and says "Calm down guys, I'm right here!"  He gets into the rocking boat and the wind dies off and the waves stop.  These were men of faith!  They were following Christ - physically and metaphorically.  I'm sure they were praying their hearts out to God: save us, help us, we're scared, we're going to die, where's Jesus?   He was right there, they think He's miles away on the shore.  Truth is He was always right there, the whole time.

The same is still true today.  Yes, Jesus walked on water 2,000 +/- years ago.  But Jesus isn't some dead guy we hold in high regard.  Jesus ascended back to Heaven fully alive!!  He beat death! He's alive and ready to meet us where we are right now.  If you don't think Jesus is, let me know and I'll be happy to tell you all the ways Jesus has shown me that He's not only alive, but He's live, well and completely in charge!

I saw this once and have always reminded myself in my times of need:

Jodi @ God Still Speaks

Head Writer

Boy mom of three. Married to the same man since 2002. Former working mom turned stay-at-home mom. I love my faith, family, and coffee.

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Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests to made known to God. — Philippians 4:6