Wednesday, August 24, 2011


In the summertime I always enjoy going on a boat. There is something relaxing and life-giving about being on the water. The sweet, salty air and the fresh breeze are invigorating.

That being said, I would not advise going out this weekend. The Perfect Storm might not be brewing but hurricane Irene is heading our way and the sea will surely be rough. If you were to go out, you would be at the mercy of the wind and the waves—and they are not very merciful.

It is for this reason that some people don’t like to go on a boat. They’d rather have their feet on dry, stable ground. They dislike floating on the water. They don’t like the fact that when you are on a boat, sometimes you’re not in control. At times, you’re at the mercy of the water or the wind. Sure, you can steer with it, but ultimately, the wind and the water will tell you where to go.

I love being on the water, but even I wouldn’t want to go out this weekend. That is, unless Jesus is in the boat with me. If He were in the boat, and He wanted to calm the wind and the waves, then I am game.

I am struck by all the great things we learn about Jesus in the boat. He could fish anywhere. He was calm in the midst of the storm. He could walk on water. He could control the stormy sea. Greatness comes to mind. The question/statement by the disciples says it all: “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey Him?” (Matthew 8:27)

In every boat trip, Jesus showed He is in control. The winds and the waves might put up a fight against mere mortals, but not against Jesus. The disciples saw chaos in the stormy sea. Jesus saw an opportunity to show who’s the boss. He organizes the unorganizable and uses it for His purposes.

I have also noticed that every time the disciples are in the boat, they feel compelled to respond. They see the greatness of Jesus and they respond accordingly. They worship. They drop their nets and follow Him. They walk on water. They listen and receive words of forgiveness and love. They witness the majesty of Jesus, and they must show off His greatness with the appropriate response.

What about me? How will I respond in the boat? What will I do when the winds seem to take over? Will I continue my normal pattern of freaking out and telling Jesus that I want things done my way? Will I be unaware of Who’s in the boat with me?

Maybe Jesus is asking me to respond differently? Maybe He is asking me to ride out the storm with Him? Maybe He wants to reveal His greatness?

Photo by Mike Baird

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