“And when evening was now come, His disciples went down unto the sea and entered into a ship and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And, it was now dark and Jesus was not come to them. And, the sea arose by reason of a great wind that blew. So, when they had rowed about five and twenty or thirty furlongs, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing nigh unto the ship—and they were afraid. But He said unto them, ‘It is I; be not afraid’.”

John 6:16-20

Even though our “storms” may appear about to swamp us, we should always remember the One Who comes to us in them and says “Peace, be still.”
It’d been a long day. They’d been ministering on the hillside to over 5,000 folks and were tired. And, even though they’d seen Jesus miraculously multiply five barley loaves and two fishes into more than enough for that crowd, they soon forget it all when the fierce winds and white-capping waves threatened to send them down to Davy Jones’ Locker.

The same thing still happens today, doesn’t it, Pilgrim?
Most assuredly it does.
We have a mountaintop experience with the Lord. Our hearts soar Heavenward as we feel His Spirit moving in our midst. We cry, “It doesn’t get any better than this!”

But, soon we find ourselves having rowed all night and made little progress against strong headwinds and pounding waves.
We’re tired. We’re frustrated. We’re afraid.
And, like the disciples, even if Jesus shows up, we don’t recognize Him, still thinking that somehow He’s abandoned us.

But, He hasn’t.
In fact, if we’ll just stop and remember, He promised to “never leave us or forsake us” (Heb. 13:5b) and to be “a VERY PRESENT Help in trouble” (Ps. 46:1).

They knew the reason Jesus had gone off alone after feeding the 5,000: The people were wanting to try and force Him to be their earthly king—the long-awaited, political Messiah (v.15).
But, that still didn’t explain why He didn’t show up in time to catch the boat after telling them to cross over to Capernaum on the other side of the lake, some 8-8 ½ miles away (v.17).
“If only Jesus had been here,” they were probably whispering among themselves (like Martha and Mary when Jesus died—Jn. 11:21, 32), “We’d not be out here in the middle of this lake about to drown in this storm!”

How quickly we forget our “obstacles” are His opportunities.
He knew the storm would come up, even as He knew what He was going to do with the lad’s five loaves and two fishes (Jn. 6:5-6). But, He also knew this time of testing in their lives would later temper their faith and strengthen their resolve as they went out in the “Power of the Spirit into Judea, Samaria and the uttermost parts of the earth” (Acts 1:8; Mt. 28:18-20). May we remember that today when storm clouds gather on our horizon and we’re tempted to fear.
August 3, 2011