Saturday, January 27, 2018

Do Not Be Afraid

When evening came, Jesus’ disciples went down to the sea, got into a boat, and started across the sea to Capernaum. It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. The sea became rough because a strong wind was blowing. When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they were terrified. But he said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.” Then they wanted to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the land toward which they were going. The next day the crowd that had stayed on the other side of the sea saw that there had been only one boat there. They also saw that Jesus had not got into the boat with his disciples, but that his disciples had gone away alone. Then some boats from Tiberias came near the place where they had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks. So when the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they themselves got into the boats and went to Capernaum looking for Jesus.
When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?” Jesus answered them, “Very truly, I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For it is on him that God the Father has set his seal.” John 6:16-27 

There have been many rough seas in my life and many small boats not up to the challenge. Storms come up unexpectedly, even when we are careful to check the forecast.  Our hearts can be on the ground with lost hope and our fears rise to overtake us. There are time when everything is quiet and calm, but those truly are rare days. We are sailors all, on rough, uncharted seas and often feel inadequate and without the skills to manage the moment. Gratefully, it is when I remember to pray, and to make my prayers like breathing.

The disciples see Jesus and are terrified. Their arms are leaden from rowing, their bodies exhausted beyond knowing and they were spent and afraid of dying. Into this moment comes Jesus, walking across the water and he joins them and they reach the shore. They are still exhausted, in shock and totally overwhelmed. They don't stop being human in the face of miracles and neither do we. We all are facing storms and feeling overwhelmed. God's promise to us is this - that when we are in these times, we must look for Jesus on the seas and with us in the boat. We are never alone.

Today, I ask God to help me face the storms ahead with prayer. May our breathing become praise and thanksgiving, knowing we are never alone, and there are more miracles on the horizon.

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