When my feet swung over the side of the bed this morning, they planted firmly on the ground, but everything felt shaky and uncertain. My circumstances swarmed around me like an angry sea. Waves of indecision crashed about, stinging my eyes with salty spray and blurring my vision. I felt paralyzed, unsure what was going to happen if I took a step. Perhaps I’d fall forward flat on my face, or maybe reel backwards and bang my head against the wall. Either way, I’d never move past the storm if I just stood there—and God was calling me to the unexplainable. Ever been there, friend?
Remember when Jesus left His disciples alone on the Sea of Galilee? It was at the close of undoubtedly the worst day of His earthly ministry apart from His crucifixion. His cousin John the Baptist had been beheaded, His disciples had feuded, and He had been faced with great unbelief in the face of His miracles. He had ministered for hours to the people and was tired, hungry, and likely felt very much alone. He craved the presence of His Father and sent His disciples ahead of Him across the sea while He went up on a mountainside to pray. The storm within His heart was matched only by the literal storm upon the sea as His disciples struggled in their tiny fishing boat, tossed back and forth amidst the wind and the waves.
What amazes me is how long Jesus left them to fend for themselves. They stared death in the face for over nine hours with their Lord nowhere to be found. They didn’t even know where He was. Seemingly deserted, they were left to struggle on their own. When Jesus finally showed up, it wasn’t exactly as they expected. He was strolling on the stormy sea unharmed and not a bit frazzled by the circumstance they were facing. Most thought He was actually a ghost.
Not Peter. He boldly asked Jesus if he could go to Him on the water. I love Peter’s passion in this moment. He wanted to experience great things with Jesus. His heart led him beyond what reason told him was possible. Maybe this is why he was the only disciple brave enough to venture into Jerusalem after Jesus was arrested. He had walked on water with Jesus—and he was forever changed. Peter exhibited a level of bravery that none of the other disciples possessed, in spite of his own inner weakness that caused him to start sinking that morning on the sea and later led him to deny Christ three times.
Life is calling each of us. We might be on stormy seas and certainly have our own weaknesses to deal with, but it’s the turmoil that allows us to see His glory. The glassy sea is for Heaven. The raging sea, with a Savior speaking calm in the midst, is the stuff of Earth. Sometimes Jesus is on His throne praying while we see what we’re made of. He sees the storm, but He’s not frazzled by it. He knows when our strength is giving way and when our faith fails in our fear.
Yet He shows up—at just the right time—when we’re ready to boldly believe in our heart what our head tells us is impossible. After that moment, we are skilled to sail upon any waters because our faith assures us there’s no storm in life that He isn’t able to still.
Ready to step out of the boat, friend? Life’s calling.
For more information about An Unexplainable Life: Recovering The Wonder and Devotion of the Early Church, click the link below: