“But Jesus immediately said to them: ‘Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.’”
Matthew 14:27 (NIV)
Have you ever been afraid? I mean afraid for your life? Is so, you know how Jesus’ disciples felt. Jesus sent them on ahead in the boat while He went to the mountain to pray. Now even though many of the disciples were experienced fishermen, they had a healthy respect for the “Abyss”. There were many legends about the Abyss or “the deep” as it was referred to. It was where sea creatures lived, where ships were crushed by waves, where ghosts terrorized those foolish enough to be caught in a storm. Many went into the deep part of the sea never to return. This was different than fishing along the shore. So the disciples were in the middle of the sea when the storm came. Matthew writes, “the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.” Finally, at three in the morning, as they were rowing and not getting anywhere, Jesus came walking to them on the water. At first this only added to their fear. They thought it was a ghost. But then Jesus said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” Peter wanted to test whether it was Jesus or not so he jumped out of the boat. At first, Peter stayed on top of the water with Jesus, but then he started to look at the waves around him and began to sink. Jesus ended up saving him and as they both got into the boat, the wind and waves immediately calmed down. What an incredible lesson. Today, if the storms of this life start to rock your boat, if terror attacks your heart, if all seems lost, hear Christ’s words, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
Father, I thank You that when the storms of this life are terrorizing me and I begin to fear, You come and seek me. You are the one who comes to me and says, “Take courage! It is I. Do not be afraid.” How marvelous Your grace is toward me. How wonderful is Your love.
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