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? If 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 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. As it were, 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 believed Him and jumped into the water to be with Jesus. Better with Jesus than to stay in the boat. Peter was walking on the water like Jesus but when the waves kept jostling him he took his eyes off Him. Unfortunately, He focused on 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.” Help me to get out of the boat and keep my eyes on You.
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