The storm is coming. Of this we can be sure.
The intensity of it is yet to be seen, but its certainty is beyond dispute. The winds may blow from the west or from some unusual direction but they will blow. The rain may pummel the ground, dropping like a hail of stones or it may join the wind and streak sideways but we can be sure the rains will come. The sky may snap with electricity and the earth shake with sound but we can be sure that violence will accompany the storm. We may find shelter or we may be caught in transit to weather the storm in the open. The storm is coming.
After the Feast
When the multitude was fed and sent away to their homes, Jesus told the Disciples to get in a boat and sail to the other side of the sea while He climbed a mountain to pray. They obeyed Him but soon the storm arose and the winds were contrary. This went on for some time, their strong fisherman arms swelling and their disciple joints complaining as they rowed against the wind. Sometime after 3 in the morning, Jesus came to their aid, walking on the raging sea. His superstitious men thought He was a ghost! Fear added itself to their inventory of troubles. Peter recognizing the form if not the face of Jesus, hailed Him:
“Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”
Perhaps Peter didn’t really think this request through but the Lord took him up on it. He gave one of those one-word answers that changes lives.
What was Peter’s reasoning? Was he sure that Jesus would share this wonderful aquatic skill with him? Did Peter even think at all? Whatever may have prompted the fisherman, Peter exited the boat. Instead of jumping into the sea, Peter stepped out onto it—and it held him up! He paused for a moment just to make sure of this miraculous buoyancy, smiled at Jesus and the other men, swallowed hard and took a step. Then he took another and another. The winds still blew and the waves still did their best to upend him but each step took Peter closer to Jesus. When he was within arm’s reach of the Master, he took his eyes off Jesus. As if waking from a dream, the reality of the storm broke upon him like a tidal wave. With his eyes on the storm, Peter began to sink. He cried out to Jesus for salvation and a strong carpenter’s hand caught him just before the waters would have claimed him. Jesus laughed:
“O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
Both of them laughing, they got into the boat and immediately the storm ceased. Any lingering doubts among the men vanished and they confessed His Lordship.
After the Storm
By the next morning they reached the other side where another multitude had gathered. Many believed that all it took was a touch of Jesus’ clothes and healing would be theirs—and it was true!
When the inevitable storm arises, we must keep our eyes on Jesus. He can help us walk in places that are impossible for us to walk! Every step brings us closer to Jesus—the Master of every storm.
Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away. And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there. But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary. Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear. Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.” When they had crossed over, they came to the land of Gennesaret. And when the men of that place recognized Him, they sent out into all that surrounding region, brought to Him all who were sick, and begged Him that they might only touch the hem of His garment. And as many as touched it were made perfectly well.
Lord Jesus, when You have called me to do something, that means that it can be done! Peter walked on water at Your invitation; help me to realize the fact of this! With Your empowerment I can do what You call me to do! Give me courage to obey, to get out of a comfortable boat, keep my eyes on You and walk! I trust You in all things so let me obey You in all Your commands. I know the storm is coming, Lord. Keep me steady, Lord! All for Your glory, Lord! Amen.
I’ve Anchored in Jesus
Words and Music: Lewis E. Jones
1. Upon life’s boundless ocean where mighty billows roll,
I’ve fixed my hope in Jesus, blest anchor of my soul.
When trials fierce assail me as storms are gath’ring o’er,
I rest upon his mercy and trust him more.
I’ve anchored in Jesus, the storms of life I’ll brave,
I’ve anchored in Jesus, I fear no wind or wave,
I’ve anchored in Jesus, For he hath pow’r to save,
I’ve anchored in the rock of ages.
2. He keeps my soul from evil and give me blessed peace,
His voice hath stilled the waters and bid their tumult cease.
My pilot and deliv’rer to him I all confide,
For always when I need him, he’s at my side.
3. He is my Friend and Saviour, in him my anchor’s cast,
He drives away my sorrows and shields me from the blast.
By faith I’m looking upward beyond life’s troubled sea,
There I behold a haven prepared for me.
© 2018 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved