"Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. "It's a ghost," they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid." "Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water." "Come," he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!" Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?" And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God." (Matthew 14:23-33)
We can be smack in the center of God's will and still go through terrible storms. Christ loved the disciples with all His heart, yet He "made" them get into the boat when He knew a storm was coming. They were exactly where they were supposed to be and still experienced frightening turbulence.
Can you relate to the disciples? Have you experienced a time when you knew you were where God wanted you to be, but the storms were overwhelming?
Not all the storms in life result from either sin or warfare. Some occur like clockwork to purposely rock our boats. However, if Christ has appointed our place in the story, you can be sure He purposes a show. But, we must be looking past our own boat to see Him.
One of my family's worst storms occurred when Michael, the child we raised for seven years, left our home to return to his birth mother. We received countless cards and letters which were a great comfort to us. Many of them attributed our loss to Satan and our storm to spiritual warfare. We understood the assumption because it was clearly the easiest explanation, albeit not necessarily an accurate one.
I am so thankful God was clear in His message to us during those days. We knew without a shadow of a doubt that Michael's return to his birth mother was the expressed will of God. We had no idea why nor do we have many answers now, but we were certain God was directing the events.
Christ calls us to walk by faith through our storms. It seems like a big requirement until we realize Christ does far more than that. He walks on the water during our storms. God has placed all things under Christ's feet, including the waves that break relentlessly against us. He is in charge. He is right there.
Please don't miss an important element in this story: Christ walked on the water before He calmed the storm. If He had simply calmed the storm, the disciples would have missed His majesty. And what a shame. His majesty was the whole point.
We want Christ to hurry and calm the storm. He wants us to find Him in the midst of it first.