We had just witnessed a miracle. Walking with Jesus, this is an everyday occurrence, but this one was extra special. Everyone around us seemed to be overly concerned with food, so when we found ourselves in the midst of 5000 people after Jesus’ teaching and it was starting to get dark, we realized that we had to do something.
We brought this dilemma to Jesus, Who of course, gave us an answer that didn’t make a lot of sense to us. He said, “You give them something to eat.” We always tried to be cool when Jesus said something to us that we didn’t understand, “Should we go into town and spend a bunch of money and bring them back some food?” Then Jesus asked a question to our question, “How many loaves of bread do you have?” We looked and only found five loaves of bread and a couple of fish. How was this going to work? We had seen so many miracles by that time, however, that we ended up closing our mouths, turning off our brains, and giving the food to Jesus. He blessed the bread and fish and gave it to us to give to the people. It was beyond understanding how the food kept coming from Him to us to the people. The loaves and fish just kept multiplying until not only were all these people fed, but they were full! There was so much food left over that we picked up twelve FULL baskets of bread and even some leftover fish. It was truly amazing!
That’s when Jesus told us to get into our boat and go to the other side while He sent the people away. I guess He was going to catch another boat later, we didn’t know, but we obeyed and left. What happened next, just a few hours later was CRRRAAAZZZY!
I’ve been in and around boats all my life, but I’ve never seen such a powerful and contrary wind as I did that night. We were straining at the oars. Man, were we tired. Around the fourth watch of the night, we decided to switch out the guys, get some fresh arms on the oars, and let the first shift rest and sleep if they could. I guess it was about 3:30 in the morning when we looked out at the sea and saw what looked like a ghost. It was shaped like a man and it was coming right at us! I was beside myself and started yelling at the top of my lungs, “It’s a ghost!!!” “AHHHHHHHH!” Then we were all yelling. I’ve never been so scared. Like I said, I’ve been on this sea since I was a boy and there isn’t supposed to be ANYTHING WALKING ON THE WATER! Not at 3:30 am. Not ever! No doubt, all of our hearts were beating out of our chests, there was mass confusion, and we were ready to fight for our lives.
In our minds, we knew that a ghost couldn’t hurt us because ghosts don’t have physical bodies, but that didn’t stop us from being deathly afraid. Fear makes a person irrational. It rips reason and logic right out of the equation and throws it far, far away.
That’s when we heard it. Over our screams and the crashing waves, a voice rose above the chaos, “Don’t be afraid, it’s Me.” It was Jesus! We were still in shock, but relieved. We realized He wanted to get into our boat, so we let Him. Immediately, the gale force winds stopped. The drama, the fear, and the noise stopped too. We were still shaking from the ordeal, but we were safe. Jesus filled us with courage by His mere presence.
It turns out that Jesus had been taking one of His leisurely strolls across the sea that night when His calm stride was broken by our screams. He had intended to pass us by, but He obviously changed His mind when He realized that we needed His help.
Once again, we were blown away by the power of our friend, Jesus. He looks like us, yet He is certainly more than a man, and each time He does a miracle, we understand even less than we did before. Needless to say, we were astonished, but at the same time, we shouldn’t have been. Whether He’s walking on water, calming the storm, casting out demons, or feeding 5000 people with little to nothing, it seems that nothing is impossible with Him.
I guess our buddy, Mark, is going to write all this down, but until He does, let me give you some advice: When you’re straining at the oars of life, when the winds of trial are contrary to you, when you’re scared out of your skin by misunderstandings, fears, and the ghosts of life, that’s when you need to cry out to Jesus and let Him get into your boat. He will silence the chaos. He will stop the drama. Don’t let Him pass you by today. Let Him into your boat and find courage in His Presence.
Shalom to you and yours,
Peter (Disciple of Jesus)
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