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Running Against the Wind

April 15, 2020·Tim Clark

In a familiar Bible passage (Matthew 14:22-33), Jesus sends His disciples away in a boat while He prays, but while they’re on the lake, the wind rises and they can’t make any headway.

It’s a frustrating place to be: Right where Jesus asked you to be, but not able to move forward to the place you know you’re supposed to go.

Sometimes, we can find ourselves out on a nice day, enjoying a breeze. But other times, in a storm on the water or caught in a brutal Santa Ana, it can be more than frustrating — it can also be frightening.

When I was 12 years old, my youth group took a trip to Magic Mountain. We were there on a day when there were significant winds brought on by Santa Ana conditions. At first, I remember it was fun being out in wind that could literally hold a person up who leaned against it. Then debris started flying and we were looking for shelter, increasingly afraid for our safety.

How often are we running against the wind… not able to get anywhere… increasingly afraid for our safety?

After working half the night, straining against the oars, the disciples catch a glimpse of Jesus. Yes, He’s walking on the water and the wind doesn’t seem to affect Him. Yes, Peter comes out to Him, only to quickly sink before Jesus rescues him and gets him back into the boat. Yes, when Jesus steps in their boat, He commands the wind and waves, and they die down until the lake is completely calm.

All of that is important. But I want to focus on the words Jesus speaks to Peter and, by extension, to the disciples and ultimately to us: “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”

And I want to remind us that this walking-on-water, calming-the-storm miraclehappened right on the heels of the supernatural feeding of the 5000 with only a few loaves and fishes. They had experienced, and even participated in, an amazing display of Jesus’ power. And now, they reveal how little faith they have.

But I don’t judge them, because that’s me: “Tim of little faith”! (Sounds like a Monty Python character, doesn’t it?) Just when I think I’m doing my best to follow Jesus or just when I’ve been a witness to, or a part of, a supernatural moment of God’s grace, something gets uncovered in me that reveals just how little trust in Jesus I actually have in a particular situation.

Here’s what God is teaching me right now from this passage: Whether it’s physical or financial provision, or protection against storms, or the resource to get me where I’m supposed to be, Jesus can supernaturally handle it.

I know we’re all having to face challenges during the current global crisis; what I don’t know is what it is that may be uniquely threatening you or the resource you require or the headwind that’s getting in the way of your progress.

But I do know that even if you lack a measure of faith, you can, with your “little faith,” invite Jesus into whatever your challenge is today, and you can trust Him to handle it!

Pastor Tim Clark

The Church on the Way