Who is in Your Boat?
Daily Reading: (Matthew 8:23-27):
“Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”
What body of water were they on? They were on the Sea of Tiberias. What you might not know about the Sea of Tiberias is that this is the second lowest lake in the world and the lowest freshwater lake. The Sea of Galilee/Sea of Tiberias is fed partly by underground springs, but its main source is the Jordan River, which flows through it from north to south. The text tells us that a furious storm suddenly came on them (Mark 4:37). Such storms result from differences in temperatures between the seacoast and the mountains beyond.
“Then he (Jesus) got into the boat and his disciples followed him.” So, Jesus is the one who led them into the boat. What this teaches us is sometimes God’s leading takes us head-on into the storm (Matthew 8:23). The greatest way we can grow in trust of Jesus is when we are in a place (the storm) where we are enabled to put our dependency on Him. The storm leads to our trust which ultimately reveals God’s protection, God’s love for us, God’s provision, and even God’s peace. I can find rest in Jesus in the middle of the storm (Matthew 8:24).
The first time you read this story it takes an unexpected turn. If I told you that Jesus would lead the disciples to go on a boat ride, who might think that a God-led boat ride would lead to a violent storm where the boat is taking on water? There is a tendency to think because as believers we have got Jesus with us in the boat of our lives that it will just be smooth sailing from here on out. Why do we act so surprised when trouble comes?
Fear kicks in, when we plug-in personal effort into the equation of victory (Matthew 8:25). Immediately, we can become overcome by fear, because we are not in control, and this situation is bigger and stronger than us. Add Christ to your situation and watch as love replaces fear.