“A huge wind blew up, churning the sea. They were maybe three or four miles out when they saw Jesus walking on the sea, quite near the boat. They were scared senseless, but he reassured them, “It’s me. It’s all right. Don’t be afraid.” John 6:18-20 Message
So much of being grateful is connected to what we see or what we fail to see. When I cannot see what is right in front of me, or I do not truly see it for what it is, I can become ungrateful or even fearful. The men in this boat are a clear example of this.
We are told that a storm is raging all around them and the sea is churning up. This moment is a fight for survival. They were fishermen so they likely knew quite well that their efforts, although they needed to try, were no match for the rage of the sea. They were completely at the mercy of the storm. Tossing back and forth, possibly seasick, and uncertain of what tomorrow would bring, many questions could potentially be running through their minds. While all of this is unfolding, off in the distance is a figure, which only adds to their confusion and fear. What they see are crashing waves, their boat being tossed back and forth as water spills over the side onto the floor beside them, and then a terrifying figure on the water. Because their immediate circumstances were so overpowering to them, they failed to see the truth. While the waves were over their heads, they were under Jesus feet.
This makes me really ponder on a number of thoughts, Does my storm stop me from seeing the truth? Am I so overcome by my circumstances that I fail to see who is walking with me in the midst of it? Have I allowed fear to dominate my life to the place that I do not even recognize God when He is walking with me? Do I believe that my situation is above the One who is walking on the very thing that may terrify me?
I believe all of these questions are important because will I truly be grateful if I feel abandoned in the storm? Will I be grateful while being slapped by a wave of trouble, if I don’t see the One who directs that wave? Will I be grateful if I do not learn to look out past the rough waters to see the One who is walking to me and leading me to a place of rest?
Today, as I write this there is a storm raging outside. I may not be on the waters in the midst of this storm, but I do know I am sheltered and kept from the winds that blow around me. I am safe and warm, so it is easy to be thankful. However, if I were called to face the uncertainty of this storm in the cold not knowing where it might take me, would I still be able to offer thanks?
These are real life issues. Real transformational moments because at the end of the day, the storm will come and go, but will the heart of a grateful woman shine through in the midst of the sun, rain, winds, and adversity? How can we move from fear in the storm to faith? I believe it lies in recognizing Him at all times, not just in the calm and quiet moments. He is there, walking to you now, will you have faith that He is above every wave in your life?
Today I am grateful that what overwhelms my heart is under His feet. I am thankful for the reminder that there is no need to be afraid, but to simply see Him, and praise Him. For never once has He left us alone. Never Once.