After Jesus had retreated to the mountain for pray, he came down and walked across the water to His storm-tormented disciples. And because fear distorts reality, the disciples thought he was a ghost. Once in the boat, the storm stopped and the disciples worshiped Jesus.
I’m going to stop there for just a minute. We had a storm last night that woke us. I really was sleeping pretty soundly and suddenly the wind was howling and the hail was beating against our window. I had prayed for God’s protection from the coming storm but I know His will and mine aren’t always the same. So we got up and checked the radar. God allowed a small storm to creep into our lives last night. And even though it was a small one, I certainly wouldn’t want to be out on the water in a boat during the storm. The storms often came up quickly in the seas of Israel. Both the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea are surrounded by hilly countryside. The storms didn’t build for hours upon hours like they do in America. We’re able, with radar to watch the storms build and dissipate – kind of like how we are able to see the storms in others’ lives. But like our own spiritual and emotional storms, the ones in the Dead Sea and the Sea of Galilee seem to come out of nowhere. We’re cruising along on the calm waters enjoying life, then suddenly we’re in the midst of a raging and violent storm. Jesus wants us to keep our focus on Him and Him alone. When I can keep my focus on His love and mercy, there is peace.
After Jesus calmed the storm, He explained to the disciples that he wasn’t going to be with them much longer. This is the revelation following the storm. What is revealed about you in the aftermath of a storm? The storms of live have a way of ripping away the masks and the images we like to portray and revealing our true identities. While the disciples were worshiping Jesus, He reminded them that to follow Him meant to pick up their cross in the process. I think we like to skim over that part of scripture. We would rather focus on the verse that tells us Christ will bear our yoke and our burdens. We don’t want to sacrifice for anyone – not even Jesus.
So, today, I want to challenge you. Pick something – a food, a meal, an attitude, an item, a thought process, a way of life – and sacrifice it for Jesus. Carry the cross of sacrifice for the One who gave everything just for you.
Today’s reading is John 13:1-7.
Just before the Passover Feast, Jesus knew that the time had come to leave this world to go to the Father. Having loved his dear companions, he continued to love them right to the end. It was suppertime. The Devil by now had Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot, firmly in his grip, all set for the betrayal.
3-6 Jesus knew that the Father had put him in complete charge of everything, that he came from God and was on his way back to God. So he got up from the supper table, set aside his robe, and put on an apron. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the feet of the disciples, drying them with his apron. When he got to Simon Peter, Peter said, “Master, you wash my feet?”
7 Jesus answered, “You don’t understand now what I’m doing, but it will be clear enough to you later.”
Many times, I have felt like verse 7 applies to my life. “You don’t understand now what I’m doing, but it will be clear enough to you later.” You see, we don’t have to understand it all from the beginning. This faith thing is a learning PROCESS. We accept Christ and then begin the journey. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve told God I just don’t get what he’s up to. Why did this happen? Why did that turn out that way? Can you give me a clue here, Jesus? And the answer comes, “You don’t understand now what I’m doing, but it will be clear enough to you later.” Sometimes later is a few moments or even days. Other times, it’s an eternity. Keep following in faith as God is a promise keeper and will reveal to us the answers in His time.