Boisterous Winds Ahead…
“But, when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to SINK, he cried, saying, LORD SAVE ME!” Matthew 14:30 KJV
I want to bring out a couple of points I saw this morning while reading through the Book of Matthew, chapter fourteen. One might just say that chapter fourteen is a chapter of action, packed-filled with events and happenings, and ending with a strong punch!
The chapter begins with the actions of King Herod and his order to have John the Baptist beheaded. Upon the news of John the Baptist’s death, Jesus departed by sea to a desert place; however he (Jesus) was followed by a great multitude. All day long, Jesus healed the sick and gave sight back unto the blind. Evening came and there wasn’t a Wal-Mart in sight. At Jesus’ command the disciples had the massive crowd (according to the Bible over five thousand men not counting the women and children…I’d call that a pretty massive crowd, wouldn’t you!) to sit down upon the ground.
I’m not exactly sure how the disciples discovered that “someone” in the crowd had a lunch made up of five loaves of bread and two fishes, the Bible doesn’t tell…but they knew! Thus, we have the miracle of the “feeding of the five-thousand.” Amen. After everyone had eaten and twelve baskets of food were collected for the disciples, Jesus went up into the mountain alone to pray…After the long day described who wouldn’t need time alone to pray!! Yet, before he left to pray, he sent the multitude away and instructed his disciples to “get into a ship and to go before him unto the other side…”
I’m now getting to the part that the Spirit showed me this morning!! “When the evening was come, He (Jesus) was there (in the mountain) alone, But the ship was NOW in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. And, in the FOURTH watch of the NIGHT Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.”
Did you see that?! At first, Jesus was alone in the mountain in the “EVENING.” Let’s say between 5PM to 7PM. Scripture states that the ship was NOW (Already) being tossed by the contrary winds (evening storm). Mmmm…But, it wasn’t until the “Fourth watch” (the last watch of the night around 3:AM) when Jesus walked upon the waters to the tossed ship and its crew of disciples. If we put “evening” as being somewhere between 5PM to 7PM and the “fourth watch” around 3AM, the disciples had been enduring the boisterous winds for nearly ten hours before Jesus arrived on the scene!
As “fearful” humans, we often want Jesus to “arrive” on the scene as soon as we hear the first clap of thunder indicating a brewing storm in our lives. But, Scriptures do not indicate that Jesus rescues us from “thunder!’ As a matter of fact, chapter fourteen teaches us that one of Jesus’ disciples, Peter, bids (seeks permission) to come unto Jesus upon the water….Thus we have the miracle of Peter Walking on the Water…But, we also have the miracle of Jesus recusing Peter from the waters when he began to SINK!
I feel that Jesus didn’t leave the mountain top as soon as he KNEW the ship containing his disciples was being tossed in the strong winds because he KNEW his disciples were skilled fishermen. Obviously, in their vocation, they had weathered a few storms in their life time. The Bible doesn’t mention that the disciples were afraid while in the midst of the storm….UNTIL PETER GOT OUT OF THE BOAT!!! At that time, Peter needed a GREATER FAITH than his own skills and personal experiences provided! And, as soon as he had reached the END of his own skills…He CRIED, “LORD SAVE ME!”
At times, we ALL need to reach the END of our own personal skills and experiences to reach a newer, higher Faith in Jesus. Thus, at times the storms may grow longer and long and more boisterous until we reach the end of our skills and DEPEND fully upon the HAND of GOD!
Today, NOW, you may be in a storm and it seems that Jesus is off somewhere on the mountain praying while you are sailing a boisterous sea. Jesus will come; HE ALWAYS DOES! But, he may not come until you have reached the end of your own skills and experiences and fully DEPEND upon GREATER FAITH to calm the sea. God is working in you a GREATER FAITH!!! Once Jesus and Peter climbed back into the ship…the boisterous winds ceased and the journey from that point onward was smooth sailing!
My friend, smooth sailing is just up ahead….when Jesus steps on board….Today, you may be approaching the point of realizing you can no longer depend upon your own skills and past experiences to see you through….You are reaching the point of developing a GREATER FAITH to step out of the boat and immediately realize you must CRY ONLY UNTO THE LORD!
“Then they that were in the ship came and WORSHIPPED him, saying, Of a TRUTH thou are the Son of God!” (verse 33). Keep me safe ’til the Storm passes by.”
Remember, God Loves You!
Lin T. Rollins, Author