Below is a repost, first published on Setting Down Roots on April 13, 2013. It is my reflection on what is today’s Gospel, and three years later it still feel relevant in my life.
When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea, got into a boat, and started across the sea to Capernaum. It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. The sea became rough because a strong wind was blowing. When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they were terrified. But he said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.” Then they wanted to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the land toward which they were going.
It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. Waiting amid the rising storm, the sky dark, Jesus nowhere to be found, what do you think the disciples were feeling? If you’ve read my recent post you know what I’d be feeling. Waves of anxiety on top of the sea spray over the edges of the boat.
They had no idea what Jesus had in store. He was already coming toward them. Had been coming toward them the entire time that they were in the dark, panicking in the face of the storm. And as soon as they recognized him on the waves and wanted to take him into their boat, the text says immediately, they arrived safely on the shore.
Jesus’ perspective is so much wider than our own. It is so easy to feel like he is nowhere to be found, that he has left us in the dark with the waves threatening to sink what little hope we have and let us be swallowed up by the waves. Jesus was already coming toward them on the sea full of wind and waves. He can walk on the troubled sea and guide us to dry land.