I am so thankful that God will never let go of us (Josh 1:9, Isaiah 41:10, Heb. 13:5), nor can anything or anyone snatch us out of His hand (John 10:28-29). But sometimes we have to seriously work at, and focus on drawing near, staying close, and holding on to Him. Circumstances in life can tend to rip and tear and pull at us until we are an anxious, frazzled, and weary mess. Can I get an “Amen”? Life happens. Many things we simply can not avoid, so we must know how to ride out the storm safely and securely.
Last week we had a storm blow through. The wind was howling and whipping around, rain was pelting….and my daughter-in-law sat safe and dry looking out her window, amused at the garbage cans rolling down the street! But there is usually nothing amusing about the storms of life that blow through. One minute everything is fine…and the next minute our life can be changed…sometimes forever. Storms of life can hit any one of us at any given time. A diagnosis. An accident. A job loss. Death. I was thinking this morning that when the storms of life strike, it’s a lot like being out on a boat far from shore, and seemingly out of nowhere a storm blows up. You have no where to go. You must ride. it. out.
Fortunately, when we have a relationship with Jesus Christ, we can run to Him. He will hold us securely…even as we lose our grip. He is an anchor for our soul, sure and steadfast (Heb. 6:19). Many places in the Bible it speaks of God being our refuge. A refuge is a shelter, a place of safety and protection.
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1
In Matthew chapter 14, we read that after the feeding of the five thousand men (plus women and children), Jesus immediately made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of him to the other side. Once He finished sending the crowd away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Verse 23 tells us it was then evening and He was there alone. Here is where I find this story exciting (not diminishing the miraculous feeding of over five thousand!);
We read that the boat was already a long distance from land and was being battered by the waves because the wind was contrary. I don’t believe we can be sure how long they were in the storm, but scripture does tell us in verse 25 that it was the fourth watch of the night, which is somewhere between three and six a.m., when Jesus came to them. In the midst of the howling wind and waves tossing the boat to and fro, Jesus came. Walking. On. The. Water! Of course the disciples were terrified. Wouldn’t you be? They thought He was a ghost, and they were screaming and carrying on like a bunch of… can I say it? A bunch of girly men! But Jesus, kind as He is, didn’t chastise them. He immediately told them: “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”
I love Peter. Like many of us, he would just speak whatever came to his mind at that moment. So he just shouted out (in vs. 28); “Lord if it’s You, command me to come to You on the water.” Did you get that? On the water! So Jesus simply said “Come!” I have to believe He just kind of shrugged His shoulders as He said it. No eloquent sermon or parable. Simply, “Come!” But really, isn’t that what He says to any of us? We get battered and tossed about in the storm swirling all around us, and Jesus says simply “Come.”
Scripture tells us that Peter did get out of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus.
But he took his focus off Jesus for a split second.
Seeing the wind he became frightened, and began to sink. But he cried out; “Lord save me!”
What storm are you in the midst of? Do you feel like you are drowning and there is no escape? I wish I could give you a hug right now, but I can tell you this; cry out to Him and He will immediately take hold of you!
Ride out the storm with a laser focus on Jesus, not the wind and waves. Have faith that He has ahold of you and He will not let you drown.
He will keep you steady and calm. You may feel like you’re only hanging on by a thread, but He won’t let go of you…or me. Cry out to Him. Invite Him into your storm. With Him, we are able to ride out any of life’s storms safely, securely, and calmly.
Have you ridden out a storm with Jesus? I’d love to hear your story. Share in the comments…it just may help someone else who’s in the storm.
Keep gazing toward the Son.