"Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid."
It's hard to imagine a more vulnerable, compromised position than being stuck in a small watercraft on Lake Erie a few miles from shore in the middle of a storm. Well, that's where the disciples were (not on Lake Erie of course, but on Lake Galilee). All around the disciples was a surging sea; all within the disciples was dread of certain death; and all that was beneath them was a creaking fishing boat. But then a vision, followed by a voice…
Lest the disciples (most of whom were familiar with boats and windstorms) be overconfident in their instincts and seafaring abilities, Jesus granted them the grace of desperation. He still grants His disciples this grace today—though not always with the exact same circumstances! He doesn’t need a fishing boat and a cyclonic storm to make us desperate. He can use sickness, staff tensions at church, sin and strife within our congregations, or problems on the home front, money concerns, marital crisis, parenting burdens.
What fearful “storm” is destabilizing your feet and your spirit today? What is making you desperate? Look. Not with the eyes of the head but with the eyes of the heart see your Savior coming to your aid with the crashing sea of your circumstances under His feet. Listen. Not with distracted ears of flesh but with Spirit-tuned ears hear His voice calling out: “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”
Don’t let your heart be troubled or bitter because Jesus isn’t in the boat with you. Let your heart be comforted that He has already overcome that which is currently rocking your world. Desperation isn’t a bad thing. Things that make us desperate may be bad things, but desperation itself is good. The question is what we’ll do with it. To whom will we look and listen when every other anchor gives way, the sails of life are ripped from the mast, and the oars are busted and floating away?