“Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of Him to the other side, while He dismissed the crowd…he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came…the boat was…buffeted by the waves…But Jesus immediately said to them: ‘Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid’…And when He climbed into the boat, the wind died down.”
Matthew 14:22-32, NIV
By comparing Mark 6 and John 6 in the synoptic Gospels, we get the full picture of this awesome night. Jesus intended for this miracle to teach His disciples the deeper, spiritual realities of life. That night of struggle on the stormy sea is a picture of those who follow Christ through the storms of life.
In Scripture a mountain is often used as a symbol for a place of authority. The picture of our Lord praying in a place of authority, as His disciples struggled on the mission He had given them, shows how He relates to those who faithfully follow Him. In fact, it is a picture of God interceding for us while we, at His direction, are battling the storms of life.
This is a story of faith, from beginning to end. Like the disciples, we often allow our fears in life to replace our faith. Our Lord is saying, “Those of you who have decided to follow me as your Savior are going to be sailing your vessel into the winds of life. You are going to have trouble. But trust and obey anyway.”
There are two ways to get into storms. One is to flee God’s will, like Jonah did. That is different from the disciples’ situation. They were in the midst of a storm because they were obedient to God. Those who decide to follow Christ and give Him their allegiance will certainly face contrary winds in life. If we never face the storms, we will never experience the refreshing winds of the Holy Spirit flowing through our lives.
QUESTION: Are you in the midst of a storm today? Is your life filled with darkness? Help was on the way long before they saw it, and the same is true for you. Jesus knows your circumstance. He cares. Be open to the hand of God in your life.