“…And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him….” Matthew 14:19-31 NKJV
I have been thinking about this passage a lot over the past few days. Mostly, because we have been living it out. I will not bore you with the details, but we have definitely been in the midst of a storm of great magnitude. I must confess that for a time, I allowed my focus to become the storm instead of Jesus, but, like Peter I cried out in my distress “Lord save me”, and He stretched out his hand and plucked me up. No, the storm is not over, it still rages on, but now that my eyes are where they should have been all along, the storm has become … well … a situation that needs resolution, but not a thing to be feared or cause worry.
I think we all find it easy to declare our trust in God when things go well. It is easy to worship when the sky is blue, and the day is warm and sunny. The true test of faith comes when a storm suddenly strikes without warning, catching you unaware and threatening to inundate you with its waves. It is here that our faith is tested, refined, and strengthened. It is here in the midst of tribulation that we become more like Jesus.
“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love….” 1 Peter 1:6-8
No, storms are never fun, and all of us would be happy to never face another trial, but they are necessary. It is in the storm that we learn to trust in Jesus. Here is where we find our Lord walking with us in the midst of it, and in the finding, find the courage to get out of the boat. The storms prepare us for life, and for ministry, teaching us compassion for others, and that Jesus is always with us even in the strongest storms, and that we CAN trust the Lord in all things. Perhaps most importantly, the storms teach us to remain in peace, resting in Him.