Have you ever read a passage in Scripture and wondered what the main focus or take away from it was? That was the case when I read John 6:15-21. On the surface it’s the story of Jesus walking out on the water in the storm and the disciples were in the boat scared that what they were seeing was a ghost coming at them. Now, I read this over and over and I have to admit, I couldn’t see what the purpose of this story was or why it was recounted in the Bible. I journaled this page months ago, but never finished because I just couldn’t see what I needed to see, and I just put it away for a while.
To set the backdrop of the story, Jesus had just performed a miracle by feeding the five thousand. That’s pretty amazing considering all He had to start with was five barley loaves and two fish. Now, the disciples saw this miracle as did everyone else there. Then people were talking about making Him king right then and there, and He discerned that they would take Him by force to make Him king, so He went to a mountain to pray and to be alone. The disciples decided to get in the boat and head across the sea. When they got to the middle of the sea a very strong storm blew in. That’s when they saw Jesus walking on the water. The storm was all around them and they were becoming fearful of the storm, but when they saw Jesus walking on the water, they really were frightened because they didn’t know it was Him, they thought He was a ghost. One commentary I read said that they were more afraid of the ghost than they were the fierceness of the storm.
The main take away I got from this encounter is, when you are going through a really hard trial, a storm if you will, Jesus shows up in the middle of the storm. One of the commentaries I read said that when Jesus went to the mountain, He was praying for the disciples to be strong in the storm, to not be fearful. So, that tells me that He knows I’m in the storm and He is interceding for me to be strong in spite of all that is going on around me. But then, He shows up in the middle of the storm to assuage my fears, to comfort me, and give me strength to persevere through that trial to victory on the other side.
The story goes on to say that once Jesus got in the boat, they immediately landed on shore to where they were going. Remember, the storm was in the middle of the sea, where they were, about halfway between where they left to where they were going…and the Bible says, immediately the boat landed on shore. Jesus performed another miracle just for the disciples, to strengthen their faith.
Now, does this mean that when Jesus shows up the trial is over immediately? Not necessarily. It’s possible that He would end the struggle right then and there, but sometimes we have more to work through. The good part of that is, He is standing right there encouraging us, helping us to endure and that builds up our faith, so that the next time we go through a trial, we are stronger going into it than we were the last trial.
I’m encouraged to know that I don’t have to deal with the hard stuff of life all on my own. I have a Heavenly Father who loves me, and knows exactly what I’m going through, where I am in the process, and how to help me through that storm. He has me covered from the beginning to the end, and His Son, Jesus, intercedes for me and steps in the middle of that storm to help me. This strengthens my faith and helps me realize that I can rely on Him for everything because He’s got my back!