Receive Him Willingly

the-tempest-1899

“Now when the evening came, His disciples went down to the sea, got into the boat, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was already dark, and Jesus had not come to them. Then the sea arose because a great wind was blowing. So when they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near the boat; and they were afraid. But He said to them, ‘It is I; do not be afraid,’ Then they willingly received Him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land where they were going.” John 6:16-21

Jesus had instructed the disciples to go on ahead to escape the crowd. It was dark. Jesus had stayed to send away the multitudes and after He did, He escaped to the mountain to pray.  The disciples set sail and encountered a storm. They were never out of Jesus’ sight. He knew full well they were headed toward a storm. And at just the right moment He came. He was not late, they didn’t drown, He was there.

Granted they had been tossed around a bit. They were no stranger to this type of storm. They knew the seriousness of it. I have to wonder what they were thinking. Were they thinking, “Where is He?” or “We are going to die!” or “How are we going to get through this tempest?” They didn’t call out for Him but there He was walking straight toward them in the midst of their situation. He didn’t need a boat, he used the water to walk like we use the earth.

It states clearly that they were afraid. Were they afraid of Him? This loving Jesus that had taught them, guided them and stayed with them. Never abandoning, never forsaking. What about you? Where would your head be if you saw Jesus walking toward you on the water? I feel like I would be relieved but at the same time, in utter and complete awe.

The very first thing He says is, “It is I, do not be afraid.” He doesn’t want us to be fearful in our storms, especially when deliverance comes. Maybe the rescue won’t look like you thought it would. But you can rest assured that it will come. Maybe right when the gales are threatening to overtake you. He will walk right into your situation. But how will you respond? If your rescue doesn’t look like you thought, how will you receive it?

It says they willingly received Him into the boat. He didn’t have to convince them or talk them into it. After getting over the initial shock of His presence, I feel like they were like, “YES! Please come in with us!” And when they received Him, they were IMMEDIATELY to their destination. No more struggling. No more straining against the wind and waves.  Their deliverance was immediate.

I’m not sure who this is for today but please do what the disciples did. Let Him into the boat. No matter what it looks like. In my experience, when He shows up, it’s never the way I thought He would. He is vastly creative and every move He makes has purpose and meaning. Hear this as well, it’s not about you. If feels like it is because you are so wrapped up in the circumstances. Everything is always all about Him. His purpose. His glory. His presence.

When you take the focus off of self and fix your gaze upon Christ, everything changes. It did for the disciples and it will for you too. You no longer feel like you are hanging on by a thread but are being held by the strongest love you’ve ever known. He won’t be late friend. Take heart. Press on. You are never out of His sight. He is there and will act at just the right moment. You need not worry about when. Those details are for Him alone.

So what do you do while you wait? I pray. I trust. I wait (he has taught me to) patiently. And I wake up every morning praising and worshiping Him for who He is and what He has done and what He will do. The way cool thing is that your deliverance will be immediate. The storm will be behind you. Your faith strengthened by the journey. Your help is coming, just you watch and see! You’re going to be amazed!

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