The sea became rough because a strong wind was blowing. When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they were terrified. But he said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.” John 6:18-20
Are you in the midst of a struggle, conflict or crisis? One of those storms that is tossing your little ship in waves so great that they obstruct your sightlines and threaten at any moment to tip you into the abyss?
Well, in John 6, that is precisely the point when Jesus walks across the water to meet his disciples, crouching in the bulkhead, far from any shore. In “The Son of God,” this is a powerful movie moment. Jesus looks with compassion upon his shivering apostles. “It is I. Do not be afraid.” Seeing Peter’s faith rise above the waterline, Jesus reaches out, “Come.” Peter, his confidence rising to the occasion, steps out onto the tumultuous waters toward the One his heart has recognized. “You are Messiah, the Son of the Living God.”
But suddenly a flicker of doubt, a flash of uncertainty, as Peter takes his eyes off of Jesus to see himself teetering on the brink of the impossible. Suddenly, he begins to sink below the surface as his fellow ‘little faiths’ look on in horror. Then, in a single motion—effortlessly—Jesus plucks him from the deep. And, as John 6 says, “immediately, the boat reached the shore.”
If you are searching in vain for the shoreline, your respite in a raging storm, look no further than Christ. He meets you in the tempest of your life and provides a place of refuge, where no terror can sink your ship, no trauma can disrupt your peace. His presence is all we need.
He means it when he says, “Do not be afraid.” Why? Because He has you in the palm of his hand. He knows the end from the beginning. We belong to him. And if he is who he says he is, then what on earth are we afraid of?
When we finally come to the other side of this journey, we will look back and wonder. Why did we ever doubt? Why did we live anxious, fretful and small, when we could have lived bold, fearless and free?