Somewhere in the Middle – Lenten Meditation ten
“Somewhere between the boat and the crashing waves” (Mark Hall)
“Lord, if it is You,” Peter replied, “command me to come to You on the water.” (Matthew 14:29)
Peter, saw Jesus walking on the water. We see Jesus at work in the world, we are witnesses to his power. Our hearts desire is to walk with Jesus and to do the things that He is doing. Like Peter we want to make sure it is of God though. We know what happens when we impetuously jump into the water, and its not God calling us, or like Jonah God is calling us one way and we go the other.
But like Peter our challenge is that God does not always calm the storms when we step out in faith.
In the Old Testament we have a number of occasions when God parted the waters and the people or the prophet crossed over on dry land, and that does happen for us, but not always. Sometimes, and in fact more often, when we step out in faith, the storms rage on! But we need to keep our eyes on Jesus.
“But when he saw the strength of the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”” (Matthew 14:30)
This is where we generally find ourselves, somewhere between the boat and the crashing waves, somewhere between our confidence that God has called us, and the fear that even though we are following Him, being obedient, living in his will, we will sink, disappoint and fail.
Keep your eyes on Jesus, whose hand is outstretched towards you, who has you in the palm of his hand, who is your saviour, not just from trial, but in trial.
Today, spend some time thinking about when God made dry ground in your life and how you walked over. Spend some time thinking about the raging storms of your life.
Matthew 14 has a pattern of life for us, we have all been set in a boat (salvation) and put out on the waters of life, spend a moment meditating on Noah’s Ark, Moses wicker ark, and the Disciples boat of Matthew 14. What do these “boats” mean in your spiritual journey?
Jesus is our Saviour praying for us “from heaven, so to speak” ( Vs23 Jesus praying in the mountain).
Our lives are buffeted by the trails and challenges and things seem to be against us, we have persevered, and are tired. Our Lent, has been long and maybe you are wondering if God is indeed listening.
We all have some experience of these moments when we are unsure of what God is doing. “When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.”
And of course, it is in the middle of this moment that we most often here that ‘ghost of our past,’ saying “Did God really say?”
But when tempted listen for the Voice of Jesus: “But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I! Don’t be afraid.” (Matthew 14:27)
And Jesus lifts us up and comes into our lives in a new way and calms those storms and increases our faith.
Remember that this is a cycle of the faith journey, in every challenge we need to hear the voice of Jesus, step out in faith, face the trials, see Jesus coming to us, step out of the boat and take his hand, and be restored, empowered and strengthen for the journey.
It’s a pattern. This Lent recognise it in your own life and live it out, because you live, ‘somewhere between the boat and the crashing waves, somewhere between courage and fear somewhere between faith and doubt,’
and in the middle of that, Jesus is stretching out his hand to you and saying – “Do not be afraid, do not doubt, take heart, I am with you!
Let us pray.
Jesus, if it is you call me out.
You called your disciples to forsake all and follow you.
You called Lazarus out of the grave.
You called us into your service.
Empower us now with your outstretched hand so that we will not sink in the trials of life but be restored to you and useful to you.
Give us strength as we journey on towards Easter, so that we may always follow your voice and resist all temptation.