If you’ve grown up in church or ever graced the door of a church, then you’re probably familiar with the story in Matthew 14:22-33 where Jesus walks on water. Let me give you some background…
In Matthew 14, three major things happen. It’s important to note their sequence to get the full effect of the situation.
- First, John the Baptist is beheaded. Remember, John the Baptist and Jesus go “way back”. Their mothers were both pregnant with them at the same time, although John as about 6 months older. Their mothers were cousins, although in different generations. John was the forerunner of Christ and knew what that position meant. He didn’t try to “steal Jesus’ thunder” in any situation and constantly pointed people TO Christ. So, when he is beheaded in Matthew 14:1-13, Jesus is obviously upset about this.
- Second, In Matthew 14:14-21, Jesus is trying to get away by Himself after hearing about John the Baptist, but a crowd followed Him. This crowd was unprepared for the time they would spend with Jesus that day and didn’t bring anything to eat. One boy’s mom was prepared and packed her son a lunch with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. Jesus then took that sack lunch and, after praying, made it enough to feed 5,000 men plus women and children, not to mention the 12 baskets full of leftovers.
- Third, Jesus sends His disciples into the boat to sail to the other side of the sea while He dismissed the crowds. He then goes up on the mountain to pray until evening. By this time, the boat with the disciples is a long way away and is being battered by a storm. Between 3am-6am, Jesus decides to walk out them on the water. They think they see a ghost but Jesus tells them to not be afraid. Peter then decides to see if it’s really Jesus and tries to walk out to Him, with the Lord’s consent. As Peter is walking to Jesus, he gets distracted by the waves and begins to sink. Jesus pulls him out of the water. When they get back into the boat, the wind stops blowing and the disciples are amazed and worship Him.
OK, so that was a long background but it’s important to my point. Did you ever notice that there are hidden blessings in storms? I’m not talking about rain storms or snow storms; I’m talking about the storms of life. You see, you can be in a storm in life and be in God’s will…right where He wants you to be. Let me use this passage from Matthew 14:22-33 to explain what I mean.
First, God uses storms as a means of transportation for us. In Matthew 14:25, Jesus is walking TO the disciples. He is walking through the storm to get to them. But notice how He comes. Jesus came to His disciples in the darkness. Verse 25 tells us that it is the fourth watch of the night, approximately 3am-6am. Since it’s storming, there is no light from the moon and the sun hasn’t risen yet. It’s completely dark. He also came to His disciples in the face of disaster. In verse 24, we read how the boat is being battered by the waves and the wind was contrary. God was in control of the wind and waves in that sea. He knew He was going to use that storm to bless the disciples. Just like God is in control of the blessings in your life, He’s in control of the storms as well. He is with you in the midst of your storm even if you don’t seem Him in the darkness.
Second, storms are God’s mean of testing His saints. The storms of life reveal the Savior, just like the storm on the sea revealed Jesus in Matthew 14:26-27. Jesus came with a message of peace: “Be of good cheer” or “Take courage”. He came with a message of power: “It is I” – God is here!! He came with a message of potential: “Do not be afraid” – In other words, “Stop fearing and never fear again!” The storms of life refine the child of God as seen in verses 28-29. Peter was brave and took a step out onto the water only to become afraid again. But the storms of life also remind the child of God. In Matthew 14:30-31, we see that we need to KEEP our eyes on Jesus.
Third, we can see how storms are God’s means of testimony. They testify of His power. In verse 32, we see that the storm calmed without a word from Jesus. The storm lasted just long enough for Jesus to make His point. In our life, Jesus will leave us in the storms until He accomplishes His purpose. Storms also testify of His person. In verse 33, we see how the disciples worshiped Him. They realized that He is truly the Son of God.
So, when you’re in the middle of the storm in your life, how will you react? Will you look for the blessings and see that God is right there with you, using the storm to bring you closer to Him?