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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Will everything be okay?

In review of Matthew 14:22-33 it says:

22 Immediately after this, Jesus insisted that his disciples get back into the boat and cross to the other side of the lake, while he sent the people home. 23 After sending them home, he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Night fell while he was there alone.

24 Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves. 25 About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, “It’s a ghost!”

27 But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here!”

28 Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.”

29 “Yes, come,” Jesus said.

So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted.

31 Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?”

32 When they climbed back into the boat, the wind stopped. 33 Then the disciples worshiped him. “You really are the Son of God!” they exclaimed.

In this passage Jesus sends his disciples out ahead of him to the other side of the lake, while Jesus went away to pray. The disciples found themselves in great peril as they crossed the lake, the wind and waves were extremely rough. In the middle of the night Jesus came toward them walking on the water. When they saw him, they were spooked, but he spoke to them, "don't be afraid, take courage, I am here!" Peter calls out to him and says if it's really Jesus, allow him to come toward him on the water.  Jesus tells him to come. Peter left the boat and walked toward Jesus, but then he saw/noticed the strong wind and waves, he was terrified and began to sink.. he called out to Jesus to save him. Jesus reached out and saved him, and said, "You have so little faith, why did you doubt me?"  After Jesus/Peter got back into the boat, the wind stopped. The disciples worshiped him. When they reached the other side of the lake, news of his arrival quickly spread.  Soon people came bringing their sick to be healed. They begged to at least touch his garments.  All who touched him were healed.

What’s a recipe for terror? Make the setting a stormy sea in the predawn night, then mix in a ghost striding across the water toward your boat, that would scare even seasoned fishermen who’ve “seen it all.” And it did. When I’m terrified by something, I’m fully convinced that everything will not be okay. And here Jesus not only enters into his disciples’ fear, he causes it. Interestingly enough, His answer to their terror is subtly profound, and important for me to grasp, as he does not explain himself; he simply reveals himself. “It’s all right, I am here! Don’t be afraid.” My assurance that everything in life will be okay has nothing to do with optimistic explanations about outcomes; it has everything to do with the presence of Jesus in the midst of my fear. And more than quelling my fears, he will invite me to walk into them, always with him right by my side.

This morning I thank you God for your faithfulness and care. You are with me at all times, good and bad. When I'm struggling you will provide assistance, however if I look away from you and let the greatness of the opposing difficulty overcome my thoughts I will begin to fall.  But even when I do, I thank you for stretching out and saving me.