When I was a little girl, I hated storms. I especially hated them at night when all of a sudden you were awakened by thunder that was so powerful it shook your house and the lightning was so bright it looked like you were flickering the lights on and off.
I remember one particular night when this happened. My daddy knew how scared I was of storms. As soon as the thunder sounded and woke me up, I cried out “daddy!” And as I started to get up to go to his room, I heard, “I’m here my daughter.” My daddy was laying in the floor beside my bed. He knew the storm was coming and knew that I was going to be afraid. He was there before I even knew I needed him and as soon as I heard his voice and felt his hand on my arm, I instantly felt safe.
Last week I was reading a story in Matthew 14:22-32 where Jesus walks on water. The Bible says that after feeding the five thousand, He made the disciples get into the boat immediately and go before him to the other side. Jesus was dismissing the crowds and afterwards went up to the mountain by himself to pray. The boat and the disciples were a long way from land and the boat was being beaten by the waves. Matthew says the wind was against them.
I wondered when I read this, why did Jesus send them out alone? He must have known that they would encounter this storm. Why not go with them?
I don’t know how long the boat was in the storm, but the Bible does say that in the fourth watch of the night, Jesus came to them, walking on the sea. I looked up what “the fourth watch” meant and found out that it is defined by the Roman Watch as a time spanning from 3am-6am. Isn’t that like the worst time at night? I don’t know about you, but anxiety and worry always seems to come knocking around 3 am.
When the disciples saw Jesus walking on water they were terrified. They thought he was a ghost and the Bible says they cried out in fear! Verse 27 says, “But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”
This took me back to the story of my dad coming to lay beside my bed when he knew the storm would wake me. I didn’t know the storm was coming, but he did. And he didn’t leave my side the entire night.
It was the same for the disciples. Jesus sent them on their way knowing that they would face the storm. He stayed behind to pray. It makes me wonder if He was praying for the disciples in that moment that their boat was being beaten by the waves. After all, Romans 8:34 says that Jesus sits at the right hand of God and intercedes for us.
Jesus could’ve stopped the disciples from going through the storm, but He didn’t. He could’ve stopped the storm all together, but He didn’t. He knew that there was a reason for that storm. Just like in our lives when we go through hardships and trials. God could keep us from them, but instead He chooses to take us through them.
When we workout, we place stress on our bodies. If we are lifting weights that stress helps our muscles increase in size and neurological adaptations happen to give us more lifting power. This means we get stronger! It is the same with the trials that we face. As we go through hard times, our faith is strengthened. Our trust in God grows and we become more like Christ.
I don’t know what trials you are going through. I don’t know what is waking you up at the fourth watch of the night. But I do know that Jesus is interceding for you and is never too far away. He comes to our rescue and says, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.” You are never alone even at three in the morning when you can’t go back to sleep.
Jesus is there before we even realize we need Him. He never leaves our side even when we don’t feel Him. He’s working in our circumstances when everything feels hopeless and when we are afraid, all we have to do is cry out to Him.
Friend, He is with you and He is for you. Don’t give up on Him and instead choose to fight. Fight through whatever hardship you are going through. Remember, you aren’t fighting alone. God has already won the fight all you need to do is ask for His help. Choose to pray instead of worry and choose to trust in His plan. We can’t see all of the details, but one day we will.
Levi Lusko puts it this way in his book, Through the Eyes of a Lion:
This is the war: every moment of every day, we must make the all-important choice of whether we will rely on the naked eye. Will we trust what we can see is there, or believe what God says is there? It’s a decision we are continually confronted with. The apostle Paul put it this way: “So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.” (2 Corinthians 4:18 NLT).
Fix your gaze on Jesus, today. He is right there with you no matter what you are going through.
I hope you have a great Monday, friends! Thank you for reading.