- Matthew 14:22-23
“Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” With these words, Jesus calms the disciples and reassures them that everything is okay. His presence in the midst of the storm is meant to give them comfort and hope. As long as He is with them, no harm will come to them. We see this with Peter who, when he remains focused on the Lord, is able to walk on the water as well but, when he loses his focus and becomes distracted by the storm, begins to sink. We see it in the winds coming to an end the moment Jesus reaches the boat and physically joins the disciples. The message to the disciples could not be clearer – have faith and keep your focus on the Lord and all will be well.
This also the message Jesus is giving us. We all will encounter many storms along life’s journey, and these storms will take many forms. It may be the death of a loved one, the end of a relationship or the loss of a job. It may be confronting a chronic illness, an addiction or a psychological disorder. We may encounter financial difficulties, arguments with family members or struggles with coworkers. We may even experience times when our own faith in the Lord is shaken, and we have trouble believing that we really do have a God who loves us. When these storms come, we can be assured that we will be beaten by the wind, soaked by the rain and tossed about on the sea of life.
But as Christians, we have an advantage that the storm does not. We have a Lord and Savior who loves us so much that He will do anything for us. If we remain steadfast and focused on the Lord, we know that we will come through these storms in one piece. When the storms of life rage around us, Jesus is the lighthouse which will guide us into safe harbor. He is the anchor which will keep us from drifting off course. No matter what we encounter, we know that we will be kept safe so long as we keep our gaze fixed on the Lord. And even if we doubt and falter in our faith, we know that Jesus will still come to us and welcome us back into the boat. Truly, we have been given an amazing gift!