I come from Minnesota, land of 10,000 lakes. Everywhere you turn, there is a lake. They are beautiful on a nice sunny day, but in the middle of a storm, they turn into turbulent waters. There is one lake in northern Minnesota that is extremely large and shallow, with the reputation of being a dangerous place in the middle of a storm. Many fishermen have found themselves in danger when caught far from shore by a quick-moving summer storm and surrounded by high waves.
This is essentially what situation the disciples found themselves in late one night on the Sea of Galilee. They had spent the day with Jesus as he performed miracles among the crowds. Exhausted, Jesus went up into the mountains for prayer and rest. During the night,as the disciples were crossing the Sea of Galilee, a storm arose. As they struggled to stay afloat in the midst of strong winds and high waves, they saw a figure coming toward them. After the initial fear, they realized that it was Jesus coming toward them. In a moment of impulsivity and in a leap of faith, Peter stepped out of the boat. For a moment, when all he saw was Jesus in front of him, he walked on water in the midst of the storm. However, as he moved his gaze from Jesus, he focused on the wind and the rain and in that moment, he started to sink. His faith in Jesus had been crowded out by the fear of the storm. His perspective had changed as his attention shifted from Jesus to the storm. As he sank in fear, Jesus reached out his hand and together they got into the boat. The storm immediately subsided and peace prevailed.
What are the storms we are trying to navigate through? It might be a spiritual storm, filled with doubt and despair. It might be a financial storm, wondering how you are going to make it through the week. It might be a physical storm, with health issues weighing you down. It could be a relationship storm with problems in your marriage, family or friends. It feels like you are far from the safe, solid land of shore while the wind and waves are crashing around you. You feel like you are going under and there is nothing to hold you up. That’s when Jesus can appear to you, in the midst of your storm. When you keep your gaze upon him, the wind and waves subside and there is calm in the midst of the turbulence. When Jesus is the focus of our attention, the peace and confidence that Peter experienced in that short moment is ours.
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