Help Amidst Stormy Seas
The disciples struggled to cross the stormy sea, straining at the oars all night long until Jesus finally came to them in the fourth watch—which would have been between three and six o’clock in the morning!
That’s a long time to be fighting such violent seas. You would think that, after having seen Jesus multiply the loaves and fishes, they might have called out to him—or at least to God—for help. But instead, they kept on trying to make the crossing on their own. Then, when Jesus did appear, they were so scared that they didn’t recognize him. Even Peter, the chief apostle, wavered in his faith and sank into the raging waters!
What a contrast when Jesus and the disciples landed in Gennesaret! The people recognized him and immediately sent out word so that people far and wide could come and hear him. There was excitement in the air, as many were healed by doing nothing more than touching Jesus’ cloak!
Isn’t it funny that the disciples showed this lack of faith? Among all the other lessons in this story is a warning: Some situations can come upon us with all the force of an unexpected and violent storm. These storms can be so powerful that we panic and forget who Jesus is. Even when he is right there with us, we may not recognize him, because we are so caught up in everything else around us.
How can we keep this from happening? One strategy is to get used to turning to Jesus frequently during the day, even when everything is going along just fine. As we learn how to find him in our everyday lives, we will know—almost by instinct—to look for him when the storms come.
Every day, the world tries to tell us to be self-sufficient. And every day, the Holy Spirit wants to teach us to fix our eyes on Jesus. In the end, it comes down to our decision. We can learn how to be prepared for any situation by walking with the Lord, or we can try to go it alone and be at the mercy of every storm that blows our way. Which way sounds better to you?
“Holy Spirit, help me to be filled with wonder and expectancy as I approach every new day walking with Jesus!”
Daily Reflection from The Word Among Us (August 4, 2009)