We have all heard the saying, “Be aware of things that go bump in the night.” When it is dark, things are supposed to be peaceful. When we are at rest, things are supposed to be quiet. At the end of the day when we have settled in we do so having commended the day to God. We are through for the night; it’s time to sleep. But then something goes “bump.”
Actually, things go “bump” throughout the day and night. There are so many things that cause us to be afraid. I’m not talking about the sort of fear one feels while watching a scary movie, I’m speaking about real fear. The test results come back and the doctor wants to meet with you privately. Your employer calls you to his/her office following a meeting with his manager or a client. There are so many instances in life that cause us to experience real fear. “How will I provide for my family?” “Is it treatable?”
In our text, the twelve were crossing the Sea of Galilee at night when there arose a violent storm. Notice the text before us doesn’t say the disciples were afraid of the storm. They were able bodied seamen, fishermen by trade. The twelve knew how to handle a boat even in rough weather. Given the wind and waves, things were difficult enough. But then, something went “bump.”
In the midst of facing the storm they saw a human figure walking toward them on the water. People don’t walk on water, let alone during a violent storm. This vision caused them great fear; scripture tells us “they were terrified.” Yet, Jesus says, “Don’t be afraid, it is I.” Hearing Jesus’ voice, Peter calls out telling him that if it really were his Lord, “Command me to come out on the water.” For the people of God there comes a point when fear must give way to faith, and faith leads us to trust and believe.
Peter got out of the boat; he walked on the water with Jesus. Only when fear took his eyes away from his Lord did Peter begin to sink. It is the same for people today. Through faith, God equips us to face our fears. Trusting in Jesus we can walk with our Lord through trials and adversity. Only when fear overcomes us, only as doubt takes our focus away from God can the powers of the world defeat us. Yet God’s love is so sure, his grace so powerful, even in such instances we can call out “Lord, save me!”
Jesus says, “Take heart; it is I. Don’t be afraid.”
Lord God, you are the one who saves your people. Rescue me from the things that go “bump” in my life. Give me the sure and certain hope of your love. Help me to take heart and know you are with me always. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
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