After sending them home, he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Night fell while he was there alone.
Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves. About three oâ€™clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, â€œItâ€™s a ghost!â€
But Jesus spoke to them at once. â€œDonâ€™t be afraid,â€ he said. â€œTake courage. I am here!â€ Â Â Â Matthew 14:23-27 (NLT)
I love sitting in my office with the worship music on, the windows slightly pulsing in time with the bass, and tears trickling down my face as once again I am struck by the magnitude of Godâ€™s love. I lay my head down on my pillow at night and reflect on the day, receiving the power and healing of Godâ€™s forgiveness. And then I also remember…the storms.
I like God in the quiet moments but I love God in the storms. In the storms, when my focus is on the fear and feelings of being overwhelmed, Jesusâ€™ appearance seems unexpected. At first, I may not think I am actually seeing Him. Then I hear Him say, â€œDonâ€™t be afraid, Jody. I am here.â€ Ka-boom! Fear is obliterated.
I remember when my son had to have his lung removed. He had to wake up while the tube was still in his throat. To give the rest of us an idea of what it felt like, put a straw in your mouth, pinch your nose closed, and just breathe through the straw. Oh, and add disorientation to your list of feelings. He woke up with his eyes darting around until they focused on me. â€œIâ€™m here, James. Mom is here. Relax. The tube is coming out in a few minutes. Come on. Hang with me. Focus on my face. Relax.â€ It took about 30 minutes to run some tests and determine it was safe to take the tube out. Iâ€™m sure it seemed like 30 hours. The first words out of his mouth was, â€œNever againâ€.
We cannot go, we cannot live through anything where God isnâ€™t. If I look over my shoulder, God is there. If I strain to see through the storm in my life, here comes Jesus taking a stroll through the waves.
â€œI am with you always, even to the end of the age.â€Â Â Â Matthew 28:20 (NLT)
â€œI give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me…â€Â Â Â Â John 10:28 (NLT)
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from Godâ€™s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrowâ€”not even the powers of hell can separate us from Godâ€™s love. Â Â Romans 8:38 (NLT)
Peter would never have gotten out of the boat if there had not been a storm. I do not abandon my way of doing things when they are working for me. It is when a hurricane hits my life that I look around for help.
Max Lucado said, â€œWhether or not storms come, we cannot choose. But where we stare during a storm, that we can.â€ (Fearless. ISBN# 978084992139. p. 72)
Take time today and focus on Jesus. The winds may blow and the sleet beat down but Jesus is there.
5 minutes with Him will get you through the next 10 hours!