Friday’s Reading: “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.” Matthew 14:22-17
Just after the disciples experienced the miracle of helping Jesus feed thousands of people with only five loaves of bread and two fish, Jesus commanded them to get into the boat and head to the other side of the water. The disciples obeyed him, and hours later, found themselves exhausted and fighting against wind and waves that were on the verge of overwhelming them. The disciples did not find themselves in this situation because of an unwise decision or a disobedient act. In fact, they found themselves fighting the storm precisely because they did what Jesus told them to do. At the height of the storm, when the disciples’ exhaustion and fear were probably at the highest point, Jesus came to them, walking on the sea. Jesus sent them into the storm in order to press their current understanding of who He is. He sent them into the storm and allowed them to feel the weight of fear and exhaustion in order to show them more of who He is. When we find ourselves in a place we don’t want to be, remember that Jesus uses the storm to allow us to see Him for who He is; to give us an opportunity to press into Him in a deeper way. Remember the words of Jesus when you feel overwhelmed by the storm: “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”
Prayer: Lord, in the storm it so easy to lose hope. It is so easy to focus on the wind and the waves and to forget to look to the One who made them both. I know You promise to never leave me or forsake me and I know that Your Word is trustworthy and true. When the storms of life rage around me, help me to keep my eyes on You and to press into who You are and what You have promised me. Be glorified in the storm, and use each one to shape me into who You desire me to be.
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