When we’re in the midst of the trial and the road gets bumpy, it can be so easy to lose our focus on Jesus and get caught up in the thing we’re afraid of. Like the apostles in the boat, we can actually not recognize Jesus who is walking directly toward us–likely because we are so focused on the storm all around us.
Jesus’ words as he walked across the water toward the boat were “Fear not–take courage.” How do I take courage from Jesus? When I see an inspirational leader in a battle scene, like Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings, he radiates courage. It is incredibly contagious when I lean in and focus on him. In the same way, Jesus wants me to keep my eyes fixed on him. So I have a choice: I can either cling to what I desperately hope will keep me secure–a boat that is sinking–or I can fix my eyes on Jesus my hero, who invites me to take a risk and step out of whatever I’m basing my security and safety on. To step out of that boat of false security toward him, who for good reason can tell me do not be afraid.
Out there, I may be at first more surrounded by the storm as I take that first plunge of faith. But out there where I’m not desperately clinging to my own control, he can catch me if I start to sink. He can embrace me intimately. He can fight for me.
It’s exhilarating out on the waves. In the calm I can dance close to his heart and enjoy the glory he brings. In the storm, I can trust him to hold me close and take the brunt of the force. I’ll experience the storm either way. It’s safer in his arms though.