I’m sitting inside Gusto Coffee Shop in Lee’s Summit, MO on a comfortable 70 degree Monday morning. Across from me is my friend and pastor, Dr. Fel Bagunu – sipping a Raspberry Orange Italian Soda and sharing with me his thoughts on the message he had shared the day before with our friends at Gracepointe Community Church.
Lately, Dr. Fel has been unpacking his 7 Miracles in the Gospel of John series each Sunday. The focus this week was a story that most everyone has heard before: Jesus Walks on Water.
Now, as if the idea of a man walking on actual water wasn’t sensational or “miraculous” enough, Pastor Fel decided to up the ante. He began to explain to me that this actually wasn’t the greatest miracle in the story, and then proceeded to tell me that there was something more miraculous than the water-walking stunt that occurred in John chapter 6.
At this point, I started to have my doubts. But before I could conclude that they had put something in the Doc’s Italian Soda…I heard him out.
He then took me to verse 21, where it says:
“Then they (Jesus’ disciples) were glad to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going.”
Prior to this, Jesus’ disciples had been rowing in a boat for nearly four miles, trying to reach land—but getting nowhere because of a fierce storm they were fighting in the process. All of a sudden, in the darkness, they see Jesus walking on the water toward them, and they freak out. Jesus responds with a simple, “It’s me, don’t be afraid,” and at that point, here we are at the Miracle –
“Then they were glad to take him in…and immediately they arrived to where they were going.”
I think about this story and compare myself with these men and their situation. How often do I continue to “row along” in my life like the disciples; basically in circles, getting nowhere, while also trying to fight a “storm” of some kind?
- An emotional storm in my marriage
- A scatterbrained storm with my unorganized schedule
- A self-defeating storm with unhealthy choices
–and all the while—I’m getting nowhere? I often do the same things that get me the same result, and after hitting that same wall of frustration, wonder why I’m getting nowhere. The classic quote from Albert Einstein describes this predicament:
“Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results: Insanity.”
As I finished my cup of dark roast, I realized that there is hope in this story for me. I realized that the disciple’s solution…is actually my solution. Their miracle is my miracle:
When I see Jesus, and I’m glad to allow him in my boat, I immediately will arrive at land.
I believe this because I’ve experienced it over and over again. When I allow Jesus into my boat (my situation that I’ve been trying to row out of on my own), that’s when my miracle comes. That’s when he brings me the solution I’ve needed all along.
I also realized that there are a couple of reasons that we don’t immediately choose to allow Jesus into our boat.
- We don’t know Jesus; we only know religion.
This described much of my life for a long time. Even though I was around church, I didn’t fully believe that Jesus could be trusted with my “real-life” issues. He was more of a moral police officer, but that was about it. One day I came to realize that he was more; that he actually transcended religion, and that he wanted to be my friend. Then, as I got to know his character, I was able to trust Him with anything that came along.
- Many believe that letting Jesus in is the “right” thing, but they don’t necessarily believe it’s the “best” thing for them.
This really pairs with the first reason. Because of the fact that we really haven’t encountered Jesus for who he is—a friend, or haven’t encountered God as a loving Father (Galatians 4:5-7, Romans 8:15), we tend to believe that our way is the best, or that being led by our feelings is the safest, happiest, and most fulfilling place for us. But only a life of trusting Jesus can accomplish these things.
What about you?
Where do you find yourself in these scenarios? I encourage you to choose to see Jesus as a good friend, and invite him into your situation –your “boat” today. He is more than you think, more than willing to help, and he will get you out of your storm (whatever it is) and to the land that you need.
Let this be your prayer today:
Jesus, I choose to trust you over religion, and over my own feelings. I choose to let you into my situation. I believe that you alone will bring me the miracle that I’m looking for. Thank you for this. Amen