Thursday, February 14, 2013

February 14, 2013 … Seeing Jesus In the Storm

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2013 - Day 45

Passage of the Day: John 6: 21 [underlined below in the context of verses 16-21] [NLT] …  
16 That evening His disciples went down to the shore to wait for Him. 17 But as darkness fell and Jesus still hadn’t come back, they got into the boat and headed out across the lake toward Capernaum. 18 Soon a gale swept down upon them as they rowed, and the sea grew very rough. 19 They were three or four miles out when suddenly they saw Jesus walking on the water toward the boat. They were terrified, 20 but He called out to them, “I am here! Don’t be afraid.” 21 Then they were eager to let Him in, and immediately the boat arrived at their destination!  

Contextual Study #1 of today’s passage: M 14: 22-33 [NLT] … Go to this link … 

Contextual Study #2 of today’s passage: Mark 6: 45-52 [NLT] … Go to this link … 

Reference Passage #1: Romans 8: 28 : [NKJV] … {True; … but do we really believe it when we are in the midst of a life-threatening storm?} … All things work together for the good of those who love God and are the called according to His purpose 

Reference Passage #2: Romans 11: 36 [in the context of verses 33-36]: [NLT] … {Whom do we turn to in the midst of our storms?} …  
33 Oh, what a wonderful God we have! How great are His riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand His decisions and His methods! 34 For who can know what the Lord is thinking? Who knows enough to be His counselor? 35 And who could ever give Him so much that He would have to pay it back? 36 For everything comes from Him; everything exists by His power and is intended for His glory. To Him be glory evermore. Amen.  

My Journal for Today: Today is Valentine’s Day and it’s going to be a sunny day here where I live. And on this special day, many of us will do all we can to focus our love and attention on the one person [or maybe a small group of family or loved ones] whom we love dearly. And we’ll lavish our love in tangible ways, like the giving of cards, flowers, and/or candy. Yes, we’ll want to show those special persons our attention and love, won’t we?

But what happens to that focus of love when we’re cast into a life-threatening storm? Are we able to focus on that one we love, maybe our beloved spouse in the midst of financial trials which could threaten losing our house? Perhaps we’re fighting cancer; and it’s so hard to show our love to our spouse when our personal boat is out on the waters of potential disaster. We humans were not created to focus our attention on more than one thing at a time. Oh, we might be able to multi-task a bit when the external circumstances are smooth-going; but put us in the midst of a life-threatening storm; and it’s hard to focus beyond our fears at anyone or anything else.

The photo I’ve attached above is familiar to you, I’m sure. It’s the depiction of Jesus and Peter out on the Sea of Galilee when Jesus came walking out on the waters to the boat where the disciples were in the midst of a rip-roaring, life-threatening storm. You know the story from Matthew 14, Mark 6, or John 6, where Jesus had sent His men on to the lake to travel from Bethsaida, where he had just fed thousands with a few fishes and loaves, to Capernaum. And in the midst of the storm, Jesus came out to the men, walking on the water; and they couldn’t recognize Him. But when He called out to them, Peter, of course, being able to recognize Jesus, got of the boat to go to His Lord (as in the photo). And finally, when the men in the boat recognized Whom Jesus was, as in today’s highlight passage, the men, being able to see their Savior, gladly invited Him into the boat; and when they did, the storm was quelled and they miraculously seemed to appear at Capernaum.

It’s one of the great teaching stories in the New Testament; and it illustrates many things. First, it shows that our Lord many times will test our faith by sending us out into storms or allowing us to be engulfed in some really bad stuff (i.e., stormy circumstances), elements which really test our ability to look for and/or to see Jesus.

When we’re in the storms of life, our human hearts, especially when engulfed by fear, will look to self first and often we can’t see Jesus, who will always be there with us in the midst of our storm. When we’re in the midst of some personal – maybe even, life-threatening – storm, our faith in passages like the ones from Romans 8 and 11 above, are so tested that we just have trouble seeing Jesus (i.e., “The Truth”) out there walking on the waters of our storm, calling to us to step out of the safety of our boat (i.e., our comfort zone) and to come to Him on the waters of our storm. He’s always there in the storm; but we just have so much trouble believing it; and then, even more trouble stepping out of the boat – as Peter did – to walk, … in faith, … to our Lord, … the One Whom we should always be looking for first in the midst of our storms.

Perhaps, as we read this today together, we’re in a storm; and if so, we need to ask ourselves … Where are my eyes? Are they on the storm or am I trying to look out from the storm to find Jesus?” 

My Prayer for Today … Oh, my Lord, thank You for always coming to me in the midst of my storms. … Amen

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