GLEANINGS FROM THE SCRIPTURES
INVITATION TO TRUST
By Keith L. Estes
This scripture is found in the gospel of John. It was a night of unexpected terror for the disciples. Only those who have experienced the roaring of the mammoth waves, driven by fierce winds, as they beat against the tiny ship can fully appreciate what they went through. All of us, however, have from time to time been buffeted by the storms of life and have tried to find the anchor or the lighthouse that leads us home.
Let’s read John’s account.
“And when even was now come, his disciples went down unto the sea. And entered into a ship, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was now dark, and Jesus was not come to them. And the sea arose by reason of a great wind that blew. So when they had rowed above five and twenty or thirty furlongs, they see Jesus walking on the sea, and drawing nigh unto the ship: and they were afraid. But he saith unto them, It is I; be not afraid. Then they willingly received him into the ship: and immediately the ship was at the land whither they went.”
The worst ten days of my life was spent on a victory ship, named the U.S.S. Rock Island. It was misnamed. It wasn’t a rock and it wasn’t an island. I never dreamed that the North Atlantic could be so chaotic. I didn’t get out of my bunk for three days. From that day on I became a dyed in the wool landlubber. Many of us turned green on that voyage to France. My brother served in the South Pacific on the USS Casablanca, an aircraft carrier, and told me about being in a typhoon so severe that the front of the flight deck collapsed on to the main deck. These ships we were on were large, sturdy, steel ships but the boat the disciples were sailing was very small, probably thirty feet long. The quick unpredictable storms in the area brought great fear to many a mariner.
We have learned to trust in Jesus Christ. We believe that He is both God and human, and as such loves and cares for us. We believe these things not only because we believe the Scriptures, but also have experienced His love and care in our lives. But sometimes our world grows dark, and Jesus seems far away. Sometimes conditions worsen, as they did for the disciples. We look for Jesus but we cannot see Him. At times like this the above scripture can take on deep meaning for us. The disciples rowed furiously trying to save themselves. Then they saw Jesus walking toward them on the water. Predictably, this spectacular and unnatural act frightened them. Then Jesus said, “It is I; be not afraid.” Jesus was inviting them to trust Him in the most frightening circumstances. He was asking them to believe even when it seemed impossible.
We can look for Jesus in our darkness and our struggle. Things may get worse, but He will come to us too, as He did to the apostles, (in the boat), in His own way and time.
Oswald Chambers writes: “If we are children of God, we have a tremendous treasure in nature and will realize that it is holy and sacred. We will see God reaching out to us in every wind that blows, every sunrise and sunset, every cloud in the sky, every flower that blooms, and every leaf that fades.”
Reference: John 6:16-21. The Holy Bible.
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