Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat by this time was a long way from the land, beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them. And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. 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. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”
And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” -Matthew 14:22-32
Oh how I love this chunk of scripture. To me, this story is a beautiful picture of the rawness of humanity wrapped in the presence of Christ. Lately, I feel a bit like the disciples must have felt stuck in that boat. Circumstantially, I am at a bit of a crossroad, causing me to spend more time in prayer and in my bible. Being faced with major life decisions and being unsure of your intended direction can make one feel like as if they are stuck in a storm.
While reading through this story for the catrillianth time (yes, I’m pretty sure that is a real number…), I am noticing something I haven’t before: Jesus doesn’t calm the storm immediately.
Yes, I know what you are thinking. I should have already known that, right? I mean, I guess I did, the concept just must have slipped till now.
The disciples had rowed for hours. They were nearly four miles from the shore and they were seriously getting their butts kick by the storm.
When Jesus arrives, he presents himself to his followers and Peter joins him on the water. It isn’t until the two step back into the boat that the storm ceases. He had the power to stop the storm earlier, but he chose not to.
Sometimes, I think we are asking for the wrong things from God. His primary desire is not to create picturesque, comfortable lives for us. His desire is for us to know Him, to love Him, to trust Him and to serve Him regardless of the storms raging around us.
Life may seem uncomfortable. You may, like me, feel uncertain about what’s next, but know this: Jesus is ultimately in control. He desires for you to fix your eyes on Him and to trust in His timing and control.
My circumstances may be rocking my boat a bit, but I am choosing to rest in the comfort of the storm’s calmer. I want to become a person who says yes to Jesus, who fixes their eyes on Him, regardless of what is raging around me. He alone knows my heart and He alone knows what it was made for.