During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” – Matthew 14:25-27
You can almost see the look on the faces of the disciples as they saw the figure of a man walking toward them on the water. With the wind and the waves he probably seemed to hover over the water like one might imagine a ghost would do. It was enough to create a good deal of fear in them.
Most of us have been in a situation where what we saw was not in fact what was there to be seen and our imagination conjured up all kinds of things. Unfamiliar dark rooms are good for giving us some fearful imaginations.
On this night the wind was blowing, perhaps it was also cloudy, and the spray breaking off the wind driven waves made for bad visibility to start with, then they saw this image coming toward them. Was it just their imagination? Was it a ghost?
Then Jesus speaks, “Take courage! It is I.” How often in times of peril have we heard Jesus speak to our inner person, “Don’t be afraid, I am with you. It’s going to be alright.”
I was in a place like that some time ago. The doctor was doing an investigative procedure on my heart because he was convinced that I needed some serious work done. The earlier doctor’s report was causing me to have a few fearful days, but through it all I knew that Jesus was with me and it was going to be alright.
After the procedure the Doctor’s report changed dramatically. He wouldn’t have to take the more drastic measures he originally thought and my condition was much improved.
In my storm Jesus came walking on the water and said, “Take courage – it is I; don’t be afraid.”
Are you struggling? Listen; he is saying, “Do not be afraid, it is I”
Prayer: Lord, sometimes I see things that scare me and I need grace to trust you in those scary situations. In Jesus name, amen.
Principle: During troublesome, when we are seeing things as man sees them and not as God sees, and fear is gripping our hearts, the Lord speaks peace to us saying, “Take courage! It is I. Do not be afraid.”
Affirmation: I have been through many storms and in each one I sense the presence of the Lord going with me. I will continue to trust him even in the roughest storm because I know he is there.
Reflection: How do you handle the storm? Do you draw back in fear? Make a desperate plea for help? Or do you continue on your journey with the confidence that the Lord is there watching and caring for you?
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