Last Saturday, in ‘Oceans Deep, Part 2′, we saw that if we take the time to contemplate God’s miracles, in our own lives, in the Bible, and in the lives of those around us, when we enter our storms, we won’t be so afraid.
Today, let’s take a look at the timing of Jesus’ walking on the water:
Notice that the Bible records that Jesus didn’t respond immediately to the disciples. We are told that the storm arose “later that night” (Matt 14:23), but we don’t see Jesus responding until “Shortly before dawn…” (Matt 14:25)
I have no idea why Jesus waited, but the important thing to realize is that though Jesus doesn’t always respond immediately, He does respond: “Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake.” (Matt 14:25).
What might we have been saying to ourselves in the stead of the disciples? Something like, “Lord? I saw how You fed those people. I believed that You would carry me through this storm in my life; but here I am, in the midst of the worst storm ever, and you aren’t here! Where are You? Why haven’t You paid my bills? Why hasn’t the tumor gone away? Why hasn’t my husband been delivered from drugs? Why aren’t my teens turning to You? Lord, You promised to never leave me or forsake me. Why then, aren’t You here with me in the moment of my deepest trouble?”
Another very interesting point is that although Jesus was walking on the waters on the lake, He wasn’t necessarily going directly out to help the disciples. When telling the exact same story, the book of Mark records a detail that is not mentioned in Matthew: “Shortly before dawn he went out to them, walking on the lake. He was about to pass by them…” (Mark 6:48).
But wait a minute! If Jesus promises to never leave us or forsake us, then why did He walk out to the boat, only to pass them by?
I do not know exactly why Jesus didn’t immediately go to the disciples, and I don’t know why, after walking all the way out to them, He was simply going to pass them by. I can only speculate; but I invite you to speculate with me:
What if Jesus’ purpose was to grow the faith of the disciples? If that were the case, then they needed to spend some time in the storm! It is hard indeed to exercise and grow our faith when everything is going good.
And when Jesus came to them walking on the water, what if His purpose was not to get into the boat and calm the water? What if He simply wanted to remind the disciples that despite the storm, they were not alone? What if He wanted to show them that they, too, could walk on the surface of the storm?
And in the midst of our own storms, when it seems like Jesus should have shown up and He hasn’t, could it also be that His purpose is to grow our faith? That He simply wants to remind us that despite the storm, we are not alone? Does He perhaps want to show us, too, that despite the wind and the waves, we can follow His example and walk across the surface of our storms?
Think about it!
But wait…I can’t walk on water. It isn’t humanly possible. Join us next Thursday for Ocean’s Deep, Part 4.
In His love,
Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author — “Aboard God’s Train — A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer”, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.
(To access the entire “Oceans Deep” mini-series, please click here.)