February 1, 2021
But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary. Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea (Matthew 14:24-25).
Webster defines panic as a ‘sudden overpowering fright; acute, extreme anxiety; a sudden unreasoning terror often accompanied by mass flight’. We’ve all experienced it. Some are experiencing it now in the midst of the pandemic. The disciples were in a panic in the midst of a storm out in the middle of the Sea of Galilee. What could they do? What would we have done? What do we do today when we face a panic charged situation? Quite often we forget.
We forget that God is Sovereign over all creation. We forget we are His people through His Son, Jesus Christ. We forget He is with us and will never leave or forsake us. We forget He was with Daniel in the lion’s den and with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the furnace of fire. We forget He was with Jonah in the storm, in the midst of the sea, and in the belly of the great fish.
The disciples were in a deadly situation. Jesus was aware of it. He was aware of it before it happened. He could have prevented the storm. He could have delayed the departure of the disciples until after the storm blew over. He could have sent them to Capernaum by foot rather than by boat. But that was not His purpose for them. Jesus intentionally allowed the disciples to face death for a reason. It was for their benefit and for God’s glory that they were in the tempest.
You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue, but behold, O LORD, You know it altogether. You have hedged me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain it. Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me. If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall on me,” even the night shall be light about me; indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, but the night shines as the day; the darkness and the light are both alike to You. For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them. How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand (Psalms 139:1-18). I could not have said it better.
“Thank You, Lord, for holding me in the palms of Your hands! Amen.”