Stay the Course
Read John 6:16-24
They had rowed three or four miles when suddenly they saw Jesus walking on the water toward the boat. They were terrified, 20 but he called out to them, “Don’t be afraid. I am here!” 21 Then they were eager to let him in the boat, and immediately they arrived at their destination!John 6:19-20
In our last reading (John 6:1-15), after feeding the 5000 Jesus had slipped away to the other side of the lake to be alone. We aren’t told what the disciples did after He left but we can surmise from the gathering that they could have been ministering or resting or tending to things that needed to be done. Whatever the case, “when evening came” they began to miss Jesus and started across the lake to be with Him. Despite the strong winds and rough sea they did not turn back but stayed the course of getting to where Jesus was.
Our passage tells us that as they rowed closer to where He was they looked and saw Him coming towards them, walking on the water. You can imagine their shock and how it would have startled them to see Him – or anyone for that matter – walking on the waters of the stormy lake. Jesus sensed their fear and spoke peace to them, assuring them it was Him and they had no need to be afraid. It is clear from the rest of the passage that just to know it was Jesus brought them peace. What a beautiful example of the calming peace of His presence.
Move Toward Jesus?
Do you ever find yourself missing Jesus? Maybe you reach the end of the day and realize you haven’t seen Him for awhile, you wonder where He has been? You’ve been busy with work or kids or both or perhaps you’ve been enjoying a much needed day of rest or dealing with some of life’s demands. Whatever the case you begin to realize you lost sight of Him at some point in the day. What now? Do you just wrap up the day and decide to get with Him tomorrow – or do you head toward Him as soon as you notice the space between you? Or maybe the scenario is a little different – maybe you’ve been pulled away from Him by cares of the world or by the desires of this life and you realize that you are no longer walking with Him. So now what? Do you stay where you are – missing Him but not wanting or knowing how to return – or do you move toward Him?
No matter which scenario is yours – move toward Jesus. Draw near to Him and, like the disciples, you will find Him drawing near to you. You may be tired from the day but move toward Him and the relief of stress and the hope and comfort that His presence brings. If the way between you is dark and the winds of the world are blowing or the waves of life are rough just keep moving toward Jesus. Listen, hear Him say – “It is I. Do not be afraid.” Let the calm of His voice and His presence flood your soul for there is no darkness or impending danger so great that it will keep Him from you.
Father, thank You for introducing me to Your Son and for revealing Your love, Your grace, Your mercy, and the life giving peace of His presence. Keep me ever near Him – for He is my way to You. Alert me when or if I drift – so that I might always be moving with or toward Him and never away. In His name –Amen and Amen!