It was dark when the disciples got into the boat. Jesus had decided to stay back on the shore to pray. They were some distance from land when a strong wind blew up, and the water became quite choppy. By the middle of the night the boat was being buffeted by the waves and the wind had strengthened considerably.
‘He saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them... and went out to them, walking on the lake’. Jesus appeared out of the darkness. They were terrified. ‘But He said to them, "It is I. Don`t be afraid"’ (Mark 6:48-49). Peter wasn`t sure. ‘“Lord, if it’s you tell me to come to you…” Jesus said, “Come”’ (Matthew 14:28-9).
Peter leapt out of the boat and rushed towards Him, walking on the water. Then he realised what he was doing. He took his eyes off Jesus, looked at the waves and began to sink. Jesus reached out his hand to save him and together they got into the boat. The storm subsided.
Are you straining at the oars? Does it seem that the wind, and everything else, is against you? Are you pushing against the waves with all your strength; battling against the odds?
Be encouraged. You are not on your own. Jesus is watching from the shore, waiting, ready to come to your aid the moment you call on Him. ‘God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble’ (Psalm 46:1). ‘Call upon Me and I will answer’ (Psalm 91:15).
“Help me, Lord. I’m sinking.”
It’s the darkest part of the night. His presence is drawing near.
“Is that you, Lord?”
“Don’t be afraid” (John 6:20). "Come to me… and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
As you take hold of His outstretched hand, at the height of the storm, your strength and confidence begins to return. Suddenly, you realise you’re walking on water. Then the Deceiver plays his hand, just as he did with Eve in the Garden: “Is that really the Lord?” he sneers. “Look at the waves, the darkness and the impossibility of your situation. He can’t really help you. You’re going to drown, and there’s nobody to help you. See, you’re beginning to sink.”
“You of little faith, why did you doubt Me?” (Matthew 14:31).
His strong arms pull you back from the depths and hold you tight. Together you walk through the storm.
And there is peace.
Prayer: Lord, please forgive me for doubting; for thinking You had left me. I know You are with me always. Help me to be aware of this in difficult situations, and to put my trust in You, always. Amen.
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