Don't panicA study of Jesus walking on water
In the book of Mark, chapter six, we read about the miraculous feeding of the 5,000. Right after that, Jesus sends the disciples away in a boat and he goes alone up unto a mountain to pray. In the evening, the wind comes up and the seas get stormy.
Jesus notices the weather and anticipating the disciples’ dilemma, he literally walks out onto the sea to check on his men. Even when they know it’s Jesus, fear grips them. He immediately says, “Be of good cheer: it is I, be not afraid.”
They had just witnessed him supernaturally turn five loaves and two fishes into enough food to feed the multitude, but they weren’t prepared to see him defy nature and walk on water.
How many times have we panicked when we don’t understand what is happening in our lives? God may have repeatedly supplied our needs, but when faced with a new problem, our immediate instinct is to stress out.
The same story appears in Matthew, chapter 14. It expounds on the scene to include Peter’s eagerness to be with the Lord. When Jesus tells him to come, Peter leaps out of the ship to meet Jesus on the water. He is so caught up in the Lord’s presence that he spontaneously obeys.
If only we were that eager to be with the Lord, we might experience more supernatural occurrences in our lives. Peter’s problem, so like our own, was that he took his eyes off Christ and allowed the surroundings to influence him. He panicked and sank. Faith was short-lived.
In the sixth book of John, the same event records something else I think is significant. Verse 20 says, “They willingly received him into the ship: and immediately the ship was at the land whither they went.”
If we invite Jesus into our boat in times of crisis, he will be just as willing to see us through to the other side. He will open and close doors for us — he will calm the seas and deliver us to safety. Fear limits us, but faith empowers us.
In two of these places, it says the seas calmed when Jesus entered the ship. The key for us is the same as it was for the disciples.
If we want the storms calmed in our own lives, we have to invite him into our boat. Then we need to keep our eyes firmly fixed on him — not allowing the problem to overwhelm us. Faith is having complete trust in his willingness to meet our needs.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and he will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5,6.