“Jesus went out to them”…Matt 14:25
Have you ever felt abandoned by Jesus? Like maybe He wasn’t listening or that He didn’t care? Maybe this present storm your walking through feels lonely and you wonder if His presence is with you.
Feelings are a poor indicator of truth. Our feelings of Jesus have very little to do with what is true of Him. If I base my feelings on who He is for me, then He will come up woefully short of my expectations of Him.
As the disciples were caught in a storm, buffeted by the waves, out on the Sea of Galilee Jesus was not in the boat. Can you imagine their terror? I’m sure some were shouting, “Why has He left us? Where is our master? Why has He not come to rescue us from this storm?”
Little did the disciples know, Jesus was with them. The Scripture tells us that Jesus went up on a mountainside to pray. Sometimes the place we find Jesus in the midst of our storm is not out with us on the boat, but instead, on the mountainside, standing the gap for us in prayer. Until we look to the mountain, past our storm, past the raging wind and waves we will believe He is not with us. As our focus becomes our storm and not our Lord, our hearts become overwhelmed with fear.
In the Old Testament God instructed Moses to set up a bronze snake in the wilderness for the purpose of healing those who had been bitten by deadly, poisonous snakes. When their eyes gazed up in faith towards the bronze snake, they were healed. If their eyes remained downcast there was no healing for them.
Could it be that Jesus, in His infinite wisdom is not meeting us on the boat, because He’s waiting for us to “look up?” Could it be that He is awaiting us to meet with Him on the mountainside, in prayer? Jesus does not know storms, He only knows peace. In our flesh, we are quick to keep our gaze set on the storm that rages. Our fear grows as we watch the waves grow higher and higher.
In those moments of fear, we must take our dismay to the healer and sit with Him there on the mountainside. Knowing that in His presence we are safe. No storm can overwhelm or overtake us, thanks to His love.
Jesus, I long to trust you with deep, abiding faith. To not fear the storm or the raging waters. Jesus, I want to sit with you on the mountainside today. To experience your grace and your love. I want to live in your peace today. For your glory, Amen.