Daily Radio Bible Podcast
PUT DOWN THE OARS
Today’s reading is Matthew 11-14. We are reading from the New Living Translation.
Jesus can terrify us, when we see him walking in unexpected places, and at unexpected times. This was the case with the disciples. He came to them, walking on the water, and they were terrified.
The wind is against us. We’re facing natural opposition. The winds of the world are pressing against us and we do what we’ve always done. We put our back into it and we dig as deep as we can, with the strength that we have. And so often it looks and feels like we’re getting nowhere. The times and seasons, and the strength of the storms, can overwhelm us. The opposing wind that we face in our families, our marriages, with our children or parents – it can lead to such exhaustion and despair. And when Jesus actually shows up at that time and place, we really don’t know what to make of his Presence. We’re so used to our futile rowing, to the point of exhaustion and despair. These are things that we know how to do. We put our back into it and try our best, to keep moving forward. But try as we might, we seem to get nowhere. What we don’t know is this One who comes out to us in this time and this place.
In the middle of nowhere, in the storm, he shows up.
We might be tempted to put it off as a ghost, and sink further into exhaustion and despair. Or we can believe that He’s coming for us in the storm. We might hear and respond to his invitation – to take courage and not be afraid. We might respond to him and walk with him through the wind and the waves, the way Peter did. And we might begin to experience something different than what we know and are used to – different than the exhaustion, fear, and despair that life’s storms have brought to our heart.
Put down the oars and see him coming to you, meeting you where you are. Don’t dismiss him as a ghost, something unreal and unreliable. Instead, hear and believe his voice – his word that says,
“Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here!” (Mt 14:27 NLT)
When you believe that, you can do the impossible. You can walk on water. Learn something new, something more than just trying to put your back into the oars, trying to row your way through the storm. Let God show you something different. See him coming to you and walk with him.