When I first saw the Sea of Galilee, I was overwhelmed with excitement and joy. We checked into our hotel in Tiberius and I immediately put on my bathing suit, grabbed a towel, and ran down to the small shoreline. The water was pretty cold, but I just went for it and dove in.
With mountains surrounding every side, I wondered how these waters could become so turbulent. I kid you not, just as I had the thought, a small wind came across the sea and what was smooth waters quickly became white caps. I considered swimming back to shore as I realized that it didn’t take much to create a turbulent scene.
Often times this is how storms in our lives begin. Things seem to be really smooth when a little wind kicks up and stirs the water. Before we know it we’re in the middle of a raging storm. It can be scary, especially when you are far from the shore.
In Matthew 14:22-33, the disciples of Jesus are out on the Sea of Galilee when a storm rolls in and hopelessness and fear overwhelm them. Clinching to the sides of the boat, they panic. Then, in the distance, they see Jesus is walking toward them on the water!
At first, they think they see a ghost, but Jesus calls to them and invites Peter out of the boat. Approaching Jesus, Peter starts to sink and Jesus quickly rescues him. I find it interesting that Peter lacks faith even though he is close enough to touch Jesus.
I know for myself, my storm is fear and anxiety. In the past, I have allowed it to take my eyes off Jesus, but lately, I’ve been walking on that water! I am not clinging to the side of the boat, giving up, or letting the flood waters take me under. The more that I call out His name and verbalize the promises of the Word, the more the storm weakens.
But I am not doing this on my own. Jesus is the one keeping me standing on the water. In fact, Jesus is much closer to me than I realize.
And He is incredibly near to you as well. We must trust Jesus in the storm because He is able and He is faithful. The wind may come and the waves may crash out of nowhere, but no matter how turbulent the storm may be, there’s hope in Christ for He is near!
Sunday, July 9 we will study this account from Matthew 14 more and sing these songs together. Use these as your prayer as we prepare to hear truth and live it out.