New Living Translation (NLT)
16 That evening Jesus’ disciples went down to the shore to wait for him. 17 But as darkness fell and Jesus still hadn’t come back, they got into the boat and headed across the lake toward Capernaum. 18 Soon a gale swept down upon them, and the sea grew very rough. 19 They had rowed three or four miles[a] when suddenly they saw Jesus walking on the water toward the boat. They were terrified, 20 but he called out to them, “Don’t be afraid. I am here![b]” 21 Then they were eager to let him in the boat, and immediately they arrived at their destination!
Patience is often missing from my fruit bowl. I prefer things in life to be done quickly. I don’t like to invest a lot of time in completing a task. I don’t like waiting around for people. I don’t like taking long road trips at night. I like to reach my destination immediately.
The disciples had just witnessed a miracle: Jesus fed 5,000 men! Afterwards, the Lord “slipped away …by himself” (verse 15) because He knew the people wanted Him to rule and reign based on their expectations of a king. So the 12 sat along the shore of the Sea of Galilee to wait for Him.
But it started to get dark.
So they decided to leave, without Him.
They hopped into the boat and began their journey across the sea. Rowing against gusting winds and surging waves, they endured a violent storm that suddenly emerged. After several miles of striving to reach their destination alone they looked out and saw Jesus- walking on the water! The men were terrified. Jesus spoke. Their fear ceased. The Lord climbed into the boat and they arrived at their destination immediately.
Apparently, patience was missing from the disciples’ fruit bowl too. They were probably tired from a long workday. After all, they had been busy serving people fish and bread and cleaning up all the leftovers. They had a long commute to get to their next place of ministry. It was getting dark. They didn’t have lights on their boat. They didn’t have GPS. They had to row for several miles to get to their hotel. They wanted to order room service. They needed to check ESPN/Facebook/email before going to bed.
So they came to a logical conclusion: let’s just go….without Jesus.
We do the same thing.
We watch the crowd receive a miraculous abundance of fish and bread. We serve others as Jesus teaches about the Kingdom of God. Afterwards, we sit at the seashore and wait for the Savior to arrive. We’re tired. We’re ready to get to our destination, NOW. We just want to relax and rest. But it gets dark. So we decide to get in the boat by ourselves. We row, and row, and row. Suddenly, we are overcome by hurricane force winds and waves. We are terrified. Perhaps we should just keep our head down and think about how to go around the storm? Perhaps we should just muster up more strength to row against the harsh conditions? Perhaps we should just throw the rest of our boat mates overboard to lighten the load? Or, perhaps we should just stop… ….and look up.
What’s that? It’s Jesus! Walking on the water. He’s coming towards us! He’s getting in the boat. He commands fear to leave. He is with us.
My fellow disciple,
Wait for Him.
Don’t get in the boat unless He is with you.
Don’t be afraid…you’ll reach your destination.