Immediately He made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side, while He sent the crowds away. After He had sent the crowds away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone. But the boat was already a long distance from the land, battered by the waves; for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea. When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” Peter said to Him, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” And He said, “Come!” And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and *said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” When they got into the boat, the wind stopped. And those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, “You are certainly God’s Son!” | Matthew 14:22-33
When storms come, do you believe that God is in control?
The disciples were in a literal storm. Rough waves. Wild winds. It was truly a turbulent night for the disciples. It’s not that they had never experienced a storm before. Just a few chapters before, in Matthew 8, the disciples found themselves in another storm on the sea, but that time, Jesus was sleeping in the boat. They were amazed that Jesus calmed the storm. Little by little they were seeing exactly who their God was. But in this instance, where was Jesus? He was spending some quality time with His Father in prayer. Probably discussing very important things because He runs this universe. So since He was busy praying, did He not know what was going on with the men that He so loved? He’s God. Obviously He knew what was happening with them. He knew that they were going through rough waves. He could have stopped it, just like He did in Matthew 8, right? Did they really need to experience another storm? Was it really necessary? Jesus wasn’t with them, but of course He was. Not only did He know they were going through the storm, He’s the one who planned it.
In His perfect time, the fourth watch of the night, He “showed up.” He came to them, walking on the sea. Do y’all see this? In the fourth watch of the night… Specific. Perfect. Planned. Yes, He is in control. He was in control when He was praying. He was in control when the disciples’ boat was being rocked by the rough waves and held back by the mighty wind. And He was in control when He showed up in His perfect time. We can ask this question – “But, why?” Well, if the disciples weren’t in such a stormy predicament, would they have seen Jesus do the impossible again? If the disciples weren’t being hit by blustering winds, would they have seen Jesus calm their storm again? Would they have seen Jesus at all if they didn’t face that storm?
Without rough waves, there will be no real worship. Rough waves cause us to worship.
If you’re in the middle of a storm, know that God is setting the stage for something good. Real good. In the disciples’ case, the end of their storm caused them to worship Jesus – really worship. In our case, the end of our storms will also lead us to real worship. Why not praise Him now? Why not thank Him now? Jesus knew that it had to take a storm to push His disciples to faith. That’s love, to me. He knew them so deeply to know that they needed this. They needed to face the rough waves so that they would turn to Him. He knew that. How sweet to know that our Jesus knows us so well. How sweet to know that He always has and always will have it all under control. Whether or not you can see Him, know that He is with you. He wants you to see Him, to really see Him. He wants you to know Him.
If you don’t go through the storms, would you ever know that the God you follow, the God you serve, can walk on water?