Called to Suffer
In Matthew 14:22, we read, "Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he sent the multitudes away."
Jesus had just fed the five thousand with five loaves and two fish. But He wanted to be alone. He wanted to pray. So He sent the disciples before Him.
He made them go. In my margin the alternate translation reads, "strongly urged." It wasn't a whim on Jesus's part. I suspect perhaps the disciples didn't like being separated from Him. In any case, they launched across the Sea of Galilee and encountered a storm.
You know the story. Hours later, Jesus comes to them walking on the water and they think He's a spirit or ghost. I mean, who can walk on water? It's a crazy situation, the wind howling, the waves crashing, and the men working hard. Perhaps they're bailing out water that splashed into the boat. Fighting with the rigging or simply lashing it close.
Fear must have crept in. Can you identify? You're in fog or a dense snowstorm, and the familiar road is no longer safe. Your fingers tighten on the steering wheel, and you start to pray.
Jesus meets them where they are. Peter ends up walking on the water--for a few moments, and then he looks at his surroundings and starts to sink. "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?" Jesus's rebuke is kind. He grabs Peter and they walk back to the boat.
Can you imagine Peter at that moment? His own faith was feeble, but when Jesus held him, he was able to walk on water again. And yes, when they arrived, the winds ceased. But not until then.
Peter still had a journey to make through the storm. And we do too.
"Yet man is born to trouble as sparks fly upward." Job 5:7 NKJV Even when it is not of our own making, trouble is in the world. The Fall brought the curse: sickness, sorrow, and death.
That sorrow or suffering that blindsides us does not blindside Jesus. He made the disciples go into the boat. They were meant to be there. And God does nothing randomly or with evil purpose. Even the "bad" things are meant for good, "to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." Rom 8:28 NKJV
We you called to serve on the mission field? You thought you knew it clearly. Then you were blindsided by sickness or trouble. Did God change His mind?
You go to the doctor and get a bad report. How can God be in this?
You were hoping for a family. God withheld His hand. Why do others have this joy and not you?
We do not see the end of all things. But God does.
Jesus made the disciples get into the boat. Are you His disciple? Let's get into the boat and wait for Him.