Galen is traveling and today’s DayBreaks is from the DayBreaks archive:
I love the story of Jesus walking on the water to the disciples in the middle of the storm. It has everything you’d expect of a Hollywood blockbuster, except it’s even better because it’s true!
The story takes place at 3 in the morning, which means it would have been dark. In fact, due to the storm, it probably was darker than usual because the cloud cover would have hidden the moon and stars from sight. The sea spray is flying everywhere, the wind is howling it’s mournful cry, the disciples were soaked to the bone and afraid they would never live to see another sunrise. They had good enough reason for fear based on the weather and sea conditions alone, but then they saw something that made their skin crawl. They saw a figure approaching them over the water – and it wasn’t another boat coming to their rescue. It was a person – or what they took to be a ghost actually, in the form of a person. Now it wasn’t just the wind that was screaming – according to Mark 6, the disciples screamed out in terror.
No sooner does that happen than this apparition identifies himself as Christ, as Jesus – their friend and teacher. And in the middle of the screaming and tossing waves and soaked-to-the-bone skin, they hear him say, “Courage! Don’t be afraid. It’s only me!” Jesus eventually gets into the boat with them and as Matthew told the story, they worshiped him. No wonder – not just because they saw him walk on water, but by worshiping they may have felt it improved their chances of making it alive until morning.
In Matthew’s version of the story, the disciples continued to fight the storm while Peter took his little jaunt on the wave tops, and it wasn’t until both Peter and Jesus were back in the boat that the storm ceased. Here’s the point: once Jesus got into the boat of their lives, they didn’t worship him. Their worship was directly connected with what they’d just experienced – the storm and Jesus – in the dark. Now, after this experience and after the wind had died, they knew things about him that they’d never understood before: that he cared about them, that he’d not left them alone as they’d thought, that he was the master of the wind and the waves and if he could do that, he was the master of life itself – including lives contained in the sides of a heaving boat. Perhaps more than anything else, they understood only then that when life is dark and when we feel so terribly alone and abandoned, that we aren’t really alone at all. “Jesus Christ is Lord, even in the darkness.”
Your life may be incredibly dark right now. I know people who are fighting cancer. I know some of you are fighting relationships that seem to be going down the drain faster than a comet streaks through the sky. I know some of you have lost loved ones. You are all screaming out into the darkness of a moonless night into seemingly cold, empty and black space. Stop screaming – just for a while. Jesus didn’t come to them because he heard their screaming and decided to pay them a visit. He knew where they were all along. But they needed to stop screaming in order to hear his voice and to recognize him: “Take courage! It is I. You no longer need fear.”
Invite Jesus into your situation. It doesn’t mean He’ll come – because whether or not you realize it, he’s already there – but it does mean that you will have a greater awareness of His Presence and His ability to still the storm, even in the darkness of your life.
Copyright by 2005 Galen C. Dalrymple. ><}}}”>
PRAYER: Let us rise at your command, Lord, out of our depressions, sadness, bitterness, pain and disillusionment into the glory of a life lived with you! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple.
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