(By Rachel Holmes)
But the boat by this time was a long way from land, beaten by the waves for the wind was against them (Matt 14:24).
Are you a long way from land? Do you look up in the middle of the storm and catch a glimpse of it far away? There it is, a reminder of solid, predictable times. Or maybe you look around and you don’t see the land at all. It’s only a memory now. The waves are too big, too shifting, or too strong for you to see past. Maybe the waves are beating you down, maybe the demands of life are too loud, too present, too all-consuming.
Or worse, is the wind against you? Every time you rise, the wind comes again with all its force and pushes you back down to the bottom of the wave. Sometimes the wind is so fierce, it pushes until we cannot breathe.
Hear my cry, O my God, listen to my prayer; from the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint (Psalm 61:1-2).
Why am I at the end of the earth anyway? Why am I not in His arms? Why is this storm so strong, so dark, so deep, and continues so long into the night? Why is my heart so faint when the work I need to do is so important, even precious to God? Raising children, supporting my husband, seeking the lost, pouring myself out for the assembly, surviving the next day while honoring Him in suffering and trial?
“Why?" My heart whispers in the early morning when I cannot rest. “Lord save me!” It gushes out of the deep places of my battered soul. “If you won’t help me, who will?”
Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him (Matt 14:31).
A cry. So humble. Desperate. Child-like. My little girls teach me every day what it is to depend on God. “I’m going to go tell Mommy!” their angry little voices are marching up the stairs, each sure that I will provide a just ruling over the “My Little Pony Wars” of 2019. Even the ones who don’t speak have learned how to indignantly voice their complaints. But they do it because they know they will be heard.
Lead me to the Rock that is higher than I, for You have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy (Psalm 61:2-3).
Lord, You are my strong tower. You are my defense against the headwinds of Satan’s attacks. You hear my cry when I call to You from oh, so far away. Bring me back to Your tower, bring me close and be my refuge in the windy, stormy battle that I wage.
And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying "Truly you are the Son of God (Matt 14:32).
In a moment, these frightened men saw their friend snatched from death and the wind suddenly cease. They had seen this Man walk to them on the waves that were beating them down. In the sudden silence, heaving in shock, did a psalm come into their minds and drive them to their knees to confess Him as the Almighty? Whose path is through the water, but the very Son of God?
Your way was through the sea, Your path through the great waters; yet Your footprints were unseen (Psalm 77:19).
There is a lot that I don’t see. I sometimes forget that Satan is active, working carefully to undermine God’s purpose in me and through my life. I don’t see the Lord’s footprints either. So often, I feel alone in my storm, alone in my burden, and alone in my boat. But I am not. And I don’t have to see. Because His path is through the great waters, His way is to join me in the sea.