You don’t cry much. Mom rises like a zombie in the night to snatch you out of terrors or a bad dream, or even a whimper as you partially roll over. Mom is always there. And on the weekends, Dad comes in to get you early in the morning when you’re rustling, and makes you cry even more because he’s not Mom.
But someday, Mom and Dad will be a telephone call away. Or maybe in the next room but will have lost the willpower to get up at 2.00 am because Mom’s boobs will have shrunk to normal size. And you will find yourself in the middle of life’s storms like Peter and Andrew and Bartholomew (he was there, but rarely gets a mention!). At times like these, when waves threaten to capsize your little vessel, you’ll need to turn to a higher power than Mom or Dad.
Late that night, the disciples were in their boat in the middle of the lake, and Jesus was alone on land. He saw that they were in serious trouble, rowing hard and struggling against the wind and waves. About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. He intended to go past them, but when they saw him walking on the water, they cried out in terror, thinking he was a ghost.
They were all terrified when they saw him. But Jesus spoke to them at once. ‘Don’t be afraid,’ he said. ‘Take courage! I am here!’ Then he climbed into the boat, and the wind stopped. They were totally amazed… (Mark 6.47-51)
However, Jesus may come in a way you don’t recognize. Bartholomew and his Row Bros.™ encountered Jesus out on the waves. The Master of the wind and waves came to save them. But the experience terrified them. He did not come in a way they expected.
This is the thing about faith. It requires you actually believe.
Jesus will come to save you in every storm. He’s alone watching nearby on land, perched to see that you are in serious trouble, as you row hard against the wind and waves. It is at this moment that he comes.
You can always know Jesus will come in your moment of need or fear. He will not have an onboard high production milk facility with double C cups or the sweet smell of hair that somehow always ends up in your mouth, but he will come with something more important — comforting, life-giving spiritual power.
However, because God has your spiritual maturity in mind, he won’t always come in the way you expect. And at times, the way he initially reveals himself in your life will scare you.
I know a man who lost his job and felt alone and scared, because he had a family to provide for. He felt God was nudging him in the process to follow his desire to start his own business. Now he successfully runs it from home and spends more time with his family than he ever did.
My friend did not expect losing his job would be the God of the Universe coming to him in a storm. That the story started long before his knowledge that God’s plan had begun — with Jesus watching him alone from shore while he rowed against the waves. But that’s where it began. And that’s why you need faith. The story will often scare you, even the way God introduces his rescue in it, because he wants to grow you to trust him more, but when he steps into the boat, when he meets us in a place of intimacy in our storm as only the God Who Loves Us can, the wind and waves stop, and we are amazed.
David saw the same:
I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.
He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord. (Psalm 40.1-3)
Do you notice what they learned? Whether in the wind and waves or mud and mire, Jesus comes. And when David, Bartholomew, Daddy, or you see how he quiets the waves when he steps in our little lives, we will put our trust in him.
Sometimes he just sits in the boat. But always he is there. More than Mommy with her quick release shotgun out of bed or Daddy with his eager hands that can’t hold you enough, when Daddy God walks across your storm, you will be amazed.
And you can put your trust in that.