John, The Love of God
How much does God love us? There are many great examples of how God proves His love for us. He shows Himself to us daily if we stop and realize and embrace Him, leaving all fear behind.
I was driving home from doing a teacher training at a church in Pennsylvania. It was evening. It was early spring. I tried to plan those events when the weather was more calm, after the snow, so the driving would be less dangerous. But, as I was driving through the mountains I approached a blowing spring snow storm. It was not getting better. Traveling that road many times, I knew that there was sheer drop on my right that could be the end if I slid off.
The storm was so bad that the road was covered quickly. In minutes I couldn’t tell where the lanes were. I had the wipers turned to the max but still had trouble seeing what was ahead. There was nothing but darkness behind me. I seemed to be the only one on the road. I couldn’t stop because I was afraid of being hit from behind or getting stuck. I just prayed and kept cautiously driving through the storm.
Through the blinding snow, I suddenly saw the red lights of the back of a semi. He wasn’t slowing down. He seemed to know where the road was. So, I said out loud, “Lord, do I follow him?” We both agreed, it seemed. So I kept driving, stayed a safe distance, but followed the lights ahead of me. After what seemed like hours, but probably was only about 40 minutes, I saw the exit for my hotel for the night. I didn’t usually book a hotel so I could get back to my Indiana home in one evening, but something prompted me to do so earlier that week. Mm. God knew the storm would come. God guided me through it. My hope was God. God was my rescue.
All through life, this was not my only episode where God provided for me and my family through the storms of life. I love what Jesus says to frightened followers as He walks on the churning waters, “It’s Me. It’s all right. Don’t be afraid.” I thought of those words as I drove through my own storm that night. Jesus knows. God knows. His Holy Spirit guides us safely through the storms.
John 6, The Message
16-21 In the evening his disciples went down to the sea, got in the boat, and headed back across the water to Capernaum. It had grown quite dark and Jesus had not yet returned. A huge wind blew up, churning the sea. They were maybe three or four miles out when they saw Jesus walking on the sea, quite near the boat. They were scared senseless, but he reassured them, “It’s me. It’s all right. Don’t be afraid.” So they took him on board. In no time they reached land—the exact spot they were headed to.
–The disciples left, leaving Jesus behind. Why? Why didn’t they wait on Him?
–When they saw Him, fear was the first response. Why? Because they hadn’t seen anyone walk on water? Because they had gone on ahead of Him and didn’t wait for Him to come down from the mountain? They focused on the storm instead of the Rescue?
–Why did they not recognize Jesus? Mm, they were not looking for Him. All their attention focused on the storm.
–Jesus always comes to us in the storms of life. This is reminiscent of the words of God to Isaiah: “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you” (Isaiah 43:2).
–The Lord may not come at the time we think He should come, because He knows when we need Him the most. Jesus had waited until the boat was as far from land as possible, when all their hope was gone. In essence, Jesus was testing the disciples’ faith, and this meant removing every human prop.
–Why did Jesus walk on the water? To show His disciples that the very thing they feared, the raging, seething sea, was merely a set of steps for Him to come to them.
–Often we fear the difficult experiences of life such as illness, loss of loved ones, and financial hardships only to discover that these experiences can bring Jesus closer to us. When the disciples’ focus shifted from the storm to Jesus, they worshiped Him.
–“In no time they reached land–the EXACT spot they were headed to.” Mm. We will get where God wants to go every time when we trust and obey.
Dear Heavenly Father,
You are Creator of all. You are in all. You know all. Our trust is in You. We have You and it’s all right. You replace our fear in the storm to deeper faith because of the storm. Thank you for continually transforming our thinking and behaving.
In Jesus Name, Amen