Thursday, September 05, 2013

Encouragement When the Sea of Life Gets Wavy

Monday night I made the transition to overnight Assistant Store Manager, which basically means I work 8p-8a opening boxes and refilling the shelves of our store with freight.  It is a tough job and I'd be lying if I said I was super excited about the next six months of my work life.

Recently as I was doing my devotional reading I came across a story in Scripture that really encouraged me about my work situation, and I believe this story has a very encouraging message for YOU as well.

The story comes from the Gospel of John 6:16-21,
When evening came, [Jesus] disciples went down to the sea, got into a boat, and started across the sea to Capernaum. It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. The sea became rough because a strong wind was blowing. When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they were frightened. But he said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.” Then they were glad to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going. (John 6:16-21, ESV)
You may have heard this story before, about Jesus walking on the water.  As I sat on my deck sipping my coffee I saw something, or should I say, something was revealed to me, in the story that I had never noticed before.  The last sentence of the story says that when the disciples "took" Jesus into the boat, the boat was "immediately" at the land where they were going.

Here is what I saw in the text.  The disciples recognized Jesus as the Lord, the one who walked on the water in the midst of the storm.  Seeing this power they welcomed Jesus into the boat.  Right now my life feels like its is in the midst of a small storm.  Working overnights and going through that transition is creating some waves, making the sea of my life rough and frightening.  You may feel the same way for a multitude of reasons.  This story from John's Gospel teaches us to find hope and strength in welcoming Christ into the boat of our life.  The disciples were glad to take Jesus into the boat because they were sure of his power and love.  We must be sure of those things as well, and we must welcome Jesus into all of the circumstances that we face.

The second thing that we learn from this story is that Jesus has the power to immediately change our circumstances.  This doesn't mean that he always will.  That is never promises us.  There are so many things that God wants to do in our lives that we are foolish to question his timing or his intent.  What we can do is find hope and comfort in the power of Jesus to transform whatever we are facing and bring us quickly to a new reality.  The disciples were in a boat, in the sea, getting rocked by the waves. Jesus got in the boat and they were on dry land...immediately.  Jesus can do the same for you and I in whatever circumstances we are facing.
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