For and Against
“…but the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.” –Matthew 14:24
One of the most famous Rembrandt paintings, titled The Storm on the Sea of Galilee, depicts Jesus’ disciples caught in a ferocious storm. The only seascape ever painted by Rembrandt, it is said that the painter included a self-portrait of himself in the boat, sitting next to Jesus. Smart man, don’t you think?
There’s no better place to be than snuggled up to Jesus when one of the storms of life suddenly appears. You know the kind I mean, right? Who among us hasn’t experienced a health scare, a car crash, a rebellious child, an aging parent, a job loss, or one of a host of other events that just leave us gasping in fear and uncertainty?
When the disciples find themselves on the storm-tossed Sea of Galilee, Jesus utters the only words that can restore their sense of security. “Take courage. It is I. Don’t be afraid” (Matthew 14:27). The One who created the wind is about to tame it. The One who walks on water has everything under control.
This past year has left many of us feeling as if we’re on a storm-tossed sea. Our faith has been challenged by fears from outside sources as well as those we carry within our own hearts. But it’s in times like these that we have the potential to grow spiritually; to step out of the boat as Peter did.
Tests, trials, and challenges come and go, but Jesus is the same yesterday and today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). He is with us, now and always. The same Savior who got in the boat with His terrified disciples is already in the boat with us. The Apostle Paul says it like this: “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31). Take courage, dear friends!