(Matthew 14:22-33, Mark 6:45-51)
Is your Valley sometimes less like a valley and more like a storm?
Are you paralyzed between terrifying flashes and crashes of lightning and thunder?
Storms can be scary business.
Sometimes “life storms” pop up out of nowhere. The sun rises in a clear sky and the birds are singing . . . all of a sudden, it’s lights out and you’re in the middle of a humdinger – zero to 100 in a rush.
The disciples have no idea they are headed into just such a storm. One minute they are front and center in a clear-sky-bird-singing kind of day – feeding 5,000 people with 5 loaves and 2 fishes and boxing up leftovers – and then, well . . . here’s what happens:
After the miraculous supper, Jesus instructs His disciples to get into their boat and set out across the lake without Him.
In the dark of night, a violent storm brews up and takes a stranglehold. The waters churn, the wind batters, and the rain pummels with relentless fury all night long. Deep in the night, deep in the storm, the disciples are in deep trouble and rowing hard.
Sometime before dawn Jesus approaches, walking on the water. They are in such a lather by this time that they are convinced they are seeing a ghost. Jesus assures them that He is no ghost.
Peter needs more, “If it’s really You, call me out to walk on the water.”
You probably know the story from here.
Jesus calls him.
Peter steps out of the boat, walks on the water, looks down, freaks out, and begins to sink.
Jesus pulls him up and asks, “Why did you doubt?”
They climb into the boat.
The storm dissolves.
The disciples are sore amazed.
I suspect you are wondering – who wouldn’t be sore amazed, what does sore amazed even mean, and where are the 4 crucial steps you promised?
Sore in this context is an old-timey word meaning “at the critical level.” The disciples’ amazement is at the critical level. Emotions are high, feelings are intense, and attention on Jesus is 100%. It’s the moment of realization and insight – for them and for us. It’s the model of the 4 crucial steps.
Think about it . . . Jesus directs the disciples to be on the lake, and then joins them there. He doesn’t hand out water-walking power casually – Peter asks for it. There is power and faith in the asking. Jesus’ answer boils down to this: “Peter, this is who I say you are in My power. Have faith in who I say you are. You are a water-walker. Believe it.”
4 CRUCIAL STEPS YOU SHOULD TAKE IN THE STORMS OF LIFE:
- Give thanks that you are exactly where Jesus has directed you to be.
- Recognize that even though you may be rowing hard and freaked out by your circumstances, this is where Jesus is.
- Ask Jesus for His power to do more than you could do in your own strength.
- Decide to believe that you are who Jesus says you are: in His power you are a water-walker.
See you next week.