When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus approaching the boat, walking on the water; and they were frightened. But he said to them, “It is I; don’t be afraid.” (John 6:19-20)
Relate: The other night I woke up to a storm. It wasn’t one of those warm summer rains ushered in by a few bolts of lightning accompanied with a little rumbling. No, this was one of those rattle the windowpanes, shake the foundation, get under the bed because lightning is coming right through the roof, type of storms. It was loud. It was violent. I was half tempted to march right outside and shake my fist at the sky just like Lieutenant Dan in Forest Gump. I loved it.
I’m not as big a fan when one of those storms of life come rumbling up out of nowhere and start shaking me to my foundations. Those aren’t quite as fun. There has been a time or two where I truly did go outside and shaken my fist at the sky. That shaking wasn’t in defiance of nature. It was me being perhaps a bit too frank with God about just how I was feeling at the moment. I didn’t see a way out. I couldn’t see a way forward. It was all I could do to just stay afloat.
React: That’s when Jesus come walking on the water. I’ve experienced the death of family. I’ve had long car rides halfway across the nation one half step ahead of bankruptcy. I’ve been caught in failure. I have taken jobs I never should have taken and turned down others where God was calling me to go. I’ve experienced storms. We all have, and there is no way to compare one storm to another. We each suffer our own heartache, tragedy, and sorrow. We all have our own pressures, trials, and difficulties. Quite often they come up just as suddenly and unpredictably as a storm on the Sea of Galilee. Even when those storms come up, there is one thing I am certain of… Lift up your eyes. You will find Him coming on the water. Jesus will never abandon you to the waves. Sometimes He stops the storm. Sometimes He rides it with You. Always He is there.
God, I ask that You keep me from the storms. I know that this is not always possible but I am no sadist. Protect me from those circumstances of life and my own stupidity that cause these storms to rise up suddenly. But when those storms come, be with me. I know deep down that You are but I ask that You would help me to be aware of it in the moment. When those things come up suddenly, when I lose sight of the shore from the waves, help me to never lose sight of You. Be my vision. Be my protection. Be my shelter. Be my companion. Carry me on the water.