Inviting Jesus into Your Boat
I once heard it said that we are all either coming out of a difficult situation, going into a difficult situation or in the middle of a difficult situation. How’s that for some Monday morning optimism? 🙈
The storms of life affect us all at some point. Some storms are stronger and leave more devastation in their wake, while other storms are nothing more than that annoying rain that doesn’t necessarily cause damage, but definitely puts a damper on your mood.
I used to believe that if I cried out to God, he would calm the storm.
That was until I found myself in the middle of a storm, crying out to God, only to realize my circumstance wasn’t changing.
Have you ever been there? Perhaps it was a heartache that God didn’t immediately heal. Perhaps it was a burden that wasn’t immediately lifted.
In the gospels of Matthew, Mark & John we read the story of Jesus walking on water. All 3 accounts are slightly different, but the basic facts remain the same among the 3 authors. The disciples got into a boat one night, without Jesus, and set sail across the Sea of Galilee. The Sea of Galilee is actually a lake that is 650 feet below sea level, approximately 8 miles wide and surrounded by hills, making it subject to windstorms that cause extremely high waves. But the disciples were skilled fishermen, so I’m sure they weren’t strangers to storms.
However, once they had rowed about halfway across the lake (according to John), a storm arose and they were being battered by the waves and the wind was against them (Matthew’s words). Now, I think it is important to note that they were in the middle of that storm on that lake because Jesus sent them there, according to Matthew and Mark. They obeyed Jesus’ command and as a result they were out in the middle of the lake surrounded by waves that threatened to overturn their boat. I think this is worth mentioning because sometimes we get into situations because of our own stupid decisions (Oh the stories I could tell here, but I won’t for fear that one day my children will read this blog). However, sometimes we find ourselves actually placed in uncomfortable situations by God. And then of course, sometimes we fall into hard times because hello! That’s just life and life is messy and it isn’t perfect and we can’t possibly explain or understand every tragedy/heartache/difficulty we encounter.
So, the disciples are on the lake, in a boat, with the wind against them, being beaten up by waves. And then they see Jesus walking on the water towards them (keep in mind, they are probably 3 miles from shore) and they all freak out because they are sure it is a ghost. They didn’t expect Jesus to show up and help them because in their minds, it seemed impossible that he could help them in the middle of that storm. But when they saw him and finally recognized him, John tells us that they were willing to take him on board their boat.
What if we didn’t look to God to immediately calm the storm, but instead we just invited him into our boat? I know in the past when God hasn’t calmed one of life’s storms for me, my heart became hardened and as a result, I wasn’t willing to take him on my boat. I got mad/frustrated and I withheld an invitation from Him.
Matthew tells us that when Jesus got into their boat though, the winds ceased and they all worshipped him. Their place of uncertainty became the same place of their worship when Jesus got in the boat.
God is obviously more than capable to calm the storms in our life, but he isn’t a genie that jumps to fulfill our every command.
I’ve learned (and am still learning) that God may not calm the waves that surround me, but he will get in my boat and ride the storm out with me…if I invite him. And when He is in my boat, there is peace to be found even amidst the roaring winds.
So, the next time you find yourself in a pickle, invite Jesus into the mess with you & meditate on His words & promises. Sure, ask him to fix it too, but keep your heart open to whatever his answer may be. I think Jesus does love rescuing us from uncomfortable places, but I think more than anything he desires a relationship with us and some of the deepest relationships are the ones that are formed and tested in the valley, not on the mountaintop.
So whether you are coming out of a difficult situation, going into a difficult situation or in the middle of a difficult situation, I pray this post encourages your heart today.
What are your thoughts? If you can relate or if you have any words of encouragement to share, I would love to read them in the comments below! 🙂
P.S. Quite a few readers have requested I start sharing more Bible study type posts, like this one, so I’ve started a new category labeled “Bible Study” (you can see the categories on the right hand side of the blog). This is the first post in the category, but I’ll be adding to it in hopes of making it easier for you to find specific posts like this one. I certainly don’t have it all together and I’m so far from getting it all right, but I do love sharing what God is teaching me personally. So, that’s all this post is – it is just what the Lord has been teaching me through my Bible study – it certainly isn’t a preachy post (although I am totally preaching to myself) and I pray we can all keep the comments respectful and encouraging! 🙂