Here's what I'm learning, here's what I'm becoming increasingly passionate about: God himself is the greatest gift (to know him, see him, learn him, witness his work and become a part of what he is doing) so for him to direct my life in a way that points my posture toward him is the best thing he can do for me and indeed worth rejoicing over. That being said...and out of the fullness of my heart I'm believing it more and more everyday...but that being said, sometimes my posture of worship looks like being curled up and broken in humble prayer before the Lord.
And even though I know that many times it's the bitter part of life which sweetens the good seasons, sometimes I still find myself asking that age-old question from the small, finite, human, part of my heart- why?
Recently when I was reading the story about Jesus walking on water in Matthew 14: 22-33 something struck me like a bolt. It was one of those moments that you just know is from the Lord because if you don't let yourself become consumed with it and pour over all the other scripture flooding your brain you just know you will go crazy with it in your heart.
Here's the first thing that hit me: "but the boat by this time was a long way from the land, being beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them."
Beaten by the waves...I've seen that before.
Yes...I have. In Mark 4 and Matthew 8 in the story of when Jesus calms the storm, that's why those words are so familiar. See look-> Mark 4:37 "And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling." and Matthew 8:24 "And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves"--very similar to our walking on water story right?
But two completely COMPLETELY different outcomes. Because here is the second thing that hit me in A WAY. (Ok wait...wait. I am so serious that as I write these words a huge storm of lightning and thunder has rolled in around our house, that's pretty awesome and perfect.) OK back to the second thing that hit me in a way...back to the story of Jesus walks on water in Matthew 14 verse 32 after Jesus walks on water and calls Peter to join him...after the miracles and the revelation of Jesus' majesty and power...after all that "And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased."
So you are telling me that everything about that story that we are so familiar with, it all happened in the middle of a brutal storm? In the midst of wind and waves so big that they were BEATING a boat...that's when Jesus showed up, did a miracle, and extended that miracle to Peter to teach him about faith--all of that and He didn't pause for a second to calm that pesky storm? He didn't calm the storm until after all was said and done?
No. Because that storm served a purpose.
Calming the storm in Mark 4 and Matthew 8 served a purpose and letting the storm rage in Matthew 14 served a purpose.
Let's compare the very very last sentence of those passages.
Mark 4 (storm calmed) "And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, 'Who then is this, that even wind and sea obey him?"
Matthew 8 (same storm calmed as in Mark 4, just another account of that story) "And the men marveled, saying, 'What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?"
And now Matthew 14 (miracle of walking on water in the midst of the storm) "And those in the boat worshipped him, saying 'Truly you are the Son of God."
He made the disciples endure the storm to see him walk on the water. He called Peter out into the storm, onto the waves.
And they saw who he was. They knew he was the Son of God.
He showed them. He showed them more of himself. A greater picture of God's glory and power, a glimpse of Truth, a gift that has exceeded the bounds of their lives and serves us even today.
How can this be? How can it be that I know which story mine belongs with today? That he would call me out, that he would show me through the waves, through the wind--that he would let me see him? And I can see him. I see him and one day when the storm has passed we'll tell this story and we will say WE SAW WHO HE WAS, WE KNEW HE WAS THE SON OF GOD.