Could God in the middle of the storm, in the middle of being exhausted from trying so hard and making no progress, could God be inviting me to rest in his presence? Is that possible? Can I actually step out of the boat and come to him?
With our phone ringing, with emails piling up in our inbox, with people still having great expectations of us, with continued worries about our health, as we got up this morning we glanced at the ‘surfer dude Jesus’ card beside the ‘Go’ and ‘I am praying for you’ cards, and expectantly peak in the mail box. There we find a fourth card.
As we open that card with anticipation, we find an invitation card with the word “Come” on the front of the card and inside we find this precious promise “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matt 11:28-30)
We pause and take a deep breath. Could this really be true?
When the disciples saw the surfer dude coming to them across the lake during the flashes of lightening, and heard the surfer dude saying “Take Courage! It is I! Don’t be afraid!” they realized it was Jesus. Peter, wanting to enjoy the fun and to be with his Lord, called out to Jesus “Lord, if it is really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water”. Jesus replied with a single word “Come”.
Was this a risky choice or a choice filled with promise and hope?
Now surfing with your best friend, bare foot, with 6’ waves at night in a thunderstorm sounds like a lot of fund and a recipe for disaster. . But in reality it was a hopeful decision and full of promise … Jesus had promised to meet them on the other side, so their was nothing to fear. Jesus was praying for Peter and the others in the boat. Jesus, the “I AM” was present. Jesus who alone had the strength to grab Peter by his hand when he started to sink and pull him up on top of the waves again was there ready to save. This wasn’t a risky choice – it was choice filled with promise and hope.
All that to say … our choices are ever, only risky:
- if Jesus isn’t praying for us,
- if Jesus isn’t present,
- if Jesus isn’t the “I AM”
- if Jesus doesn’t have the power to rescue us when we call out “Lord save me”.
Having come to Jesus and found grace and mercy in our time of need. Having experienced first hand his mighty power, pulling us out of the waves. Having walked together with Jesus on top of the waves, climbing the waves and surfing down them with great joy, even while getting soaked and wind burnt on our face until we came safely to shore. we pause and looked in the envelope of the last card that said “Come”, and find a blank invitation response card.
The storms of life lead us to the place where we can respond in faith and write with hope these words “Truly you are the Son of God” …
You don’t need to face the storms of life alone or in your own strengths – ask God to open your eyes so that you might see him coming to you.
You are blessed that you don’t have to make a choice filled with promise and hope alone, but that the Holy Spirit is with you. You are blessed that you know your Creator who blessed you with the skills and abilities for what lies ahead. I pity the person who must make a choice alone, without knowing God.
So, I invite you today to take the choice filled with promise and hope (not the foolish or sinful choice) holding firmly to the faith you profess and walk in hope with God who is perfect love, who drives away your fears who won’t break a bruised reed or snuff out a smoldering wick. (Heb 4:14-16).
Who knows, God may use your choice to demonstrate to a watching world his amazing power, so that when God calms the storm (which he will) people may fall down and worship Jesus proclaiming: “Truly you are the Son of God!” (Matt 14:23).
Prayer: Jesus, with anticipation and trembling hands, I accept your invitation to come. In your unfailing love save me when I stumble and fall or start to drown. When doubts flood my mind comfort me with your righteous right hand, so that I might be renewed with hope and cheer. May my choice to follow you cause my coworkers and friends to glorify your name and to declare “Truly you are the son of God!”