Reading Time: 4 Minutes
A rough storm gets rougher.
John 6.16-19 – When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea, 17 got into a boat, and started across the sea to Capernaum. It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. 18 The sea became rough because a strong wind was blowing. 19 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.
Imagine this situation. You have just been a waiter for a 5000 person banquet. You are dog tired and a strong sea breeze is blowing in your face. Besides serving food to the largest crowd you have ever seen and picking up the leftovers, you are now rowing a boat along with twelve men in rough seas.
You are in the dark and Jesus is no where to be seen. What could be more difficult? Now, this apparition appears, seeming to walk on the sea. Is it a ghost or some kind of spirit? You are part of a band of very tired men, who are now frightened out of their wits. Where is Jesus in all of this?
What do we do when every kind of trouble seems to pile upon us and Jesus seems to be absent? John of the Cross called this kind of experience “the dark night of the soul.”
I believe God allows most of us to go through times like the dark night. Why? Some say that it is to build our faith. I think that is a reasonable answer.
Others answer the question with a less definitive opinion, saying, “We know the dark night happens, but we truly don’t know why God allows it to happen.”
What do you do in times like this? Keep on rowing! Keep on doing what you were doing before the trouble began. The African American church speaks of, “going through.” I love this expression. We are going through (difficult times), but we are not staying there.
Jesus comes in the middle of the storm.
John 6.20-21 – But he said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.” 21 Then they wanted to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the land toward which they were going.
If we keep on rowing, staying with the last clear direction of the Lord, Jesus will join us and take us where we are going. It probably won’t happen as quickly as reading a few verses in the Bible, but it will happen. Jesus will definitely come to us.
When Jesus said, “It is I,” he said more than “I’m here.” Only God can say, “It is I.”
“It is I” is rooted in the revelation of God’s name to Moses. Notice the phrase “I am” in the verses below.
Exodus 3.13-14 – But Moses said to God, “If I come to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” 14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” He said further, “Thus you shall say to the Israelites, ‘I am has sent me to you.’”
In the middle of an absolutely difficult time, Jesus came to his followers and revealed that he is the “I am.”
As we struggle through difficult times, we should expect that Jesus will come to us and reveal deeper aspects of his nature.
Dear God, I pray for people who are going through extremely difficult times today. I pray for families of sick children and those who have lost loved ones. I pray for people suffering with the corona virus world-wide. I ask that you come to each one and wrap us in your love and grace.
Please join me in praying for people who are “going through” difficult times. Thanks.