When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus approaching the boat, walking on the water; and they were frightened. But he said to them, “It is I; don’t be afraid.” Then they were willing to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the shore where they were heading. -John 6:19-21
There are so many things in life that cause us fear:
We sit in our boats of life circumstances rocking back and forth, trying to paddle, trying to stay afloat, trying to not be tipped, while doing the best we can to navigate our way through the stormy patches and choppy terrain.
So when Jesus comes out to meet us in the middle of our chaos, it’s hard to recognize Him. Every muscle in our body is clenched as we brace for a sway, a teeter, a tip. Our eyesight and long-term vision is impaired as we strain to see what’s in front of us rather than being hopeful about the horizon. And our hearing is weakened to anything else but the waves as we await the next crash.
But wrapped up in this verse are some pretty cool truths.
The disciples saw Jesus approaching.
They heard Him when He said, “It is I.”
And they accepted Him into their circumstance.
Look for Him.
See Him approaching.
Quit white knuckling your stress.
Hear Him when He says, “Don’t be afraid.”
Choose Him over your stress.
And accept. Because it takes far more energy to stress out than it does to surrender.
Breathe a sigh of relief.
Welcome Him in to your chaos.
Invite Him to take a seat beside you.
When we’re willing to focus on The One who calms the storm rather than the storm, our boats immediately reach shore.
That’s the point of this passage – to recognize that we go so much further with Him than we do without.