Jesus, I'm Drowning!
Being overcome with anything is a scary thought. It can be bills, stress from work, stress from NO work, or any number of things. As Christians, our first thought is, "what in the world did I do to be in this mess?" It is natural to feel you are in "over your head" because you did something wrong. What if you didn't?
Job did nothing wrong. He is the epitome of righteous living. God even told Satan that.
Job 1:8 "And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?"
If the man was so great, why did so much bad happen to him? He lost everything he owned, became super ill, and lost all 10 children; OVERNIGHT! How would we handle such a thing? I have heard pastors try and pin some trumped up charges on Job. My favorite was God was "judging Job for worrying about his kids". What? According to God, Job was "perfect and upright" If you are perfect and upright, you must be in God's will, right? Not in Job's case.
What about the disciples? After feeding an incredible mass of people with virtually nothing, the disciples were sent by Jesus ahead via a boat to the other side of the sea.
Matthew 14:22 "And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away."
Jesus goes up into a mountain to pray and while he is up there, a major wind storm breaks out and the disciples are toiling for their very lives. Surely they must have done something wrong to be in that position, right? Wrong! Jesus TOLD them to go into the boat. They were in God's will.
The interesting thing about this scenario is everyone focuses on Jesus walking on the water. As amazing as that was, He was God. Of course He could walk on water. The amazing thing to understand is what was the disciples' problem at that moment? WATER! With dangerous wind and waves, their biggest problem was water. Why is this such a big deal? Jesus walking on water wasn't a "parlor trick". He was walking on the disciples problem at that moment. I find that not only comforting, but gratifying. Jesus was handling the disciples biggest problem right then and there.
When you have problems in your life, they usually come in bunches at a time, do they not? When the storm clouds roll in for a hurricane, you already know you are in for a long couple days. You may be in the midst of the worst storm you have ever been in. I have no idea what it is like to be in your shoes; no one does. However, I know who does. If you are His disciple, He will walk on your problems as well.
Sometimes, we get so enamored with Jesus taking care of the problem, we want to get out of the boat and help Him.
Matthew 14:28 "And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water."
Whether or not Jesus intended Peter to get out and walk on the water, look at the question Peter asked. It WAS Jesus, so He answered Peter's question.
Matthew 14:29 "And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus."
In the middle of a life or death crisis, Peter asks to get out of the boat. For what? Was it a challenge that happened quickly? Did Peter want to make sure it was the Lord? When Jesus answered the question as posed to Him, did Peter feel the need to get out of the boat against his better NATURAL judgement? Maybe. One thing IS for sure. After getting out of the boat, although Jesus was right there, Peter took his eyes off of Jesus and began to sink.
Matthew 14:30 "But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me."
"Began to sink"? How do you begin to sink? There is more here than meets the eye. Any sort of weight when setting on the water will immediately sink when released from its support system.
Matthew 14:31 "And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?"
Jesus "caught him"? How do you do that? You may say, "well, He is God and is SUPER strong". To this point, He did not demonstrate super-human strength. I believe that there is a lot more going on here having to do with the actual problem. Why?
Matthew 14:32 "And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased."
When did the problem stop? After Jesus got into the boat. If Peter had not gotten out of the boat, perhaps Jesus would have gotten into the boat sooner and the problem would have been resolved sooner. We love to help God out. For all of those who are hurting right now. I want you to understand that God does NOT need your help. I understand that it is your problem. However, Jesus asks us to "cast our cares upon Him". How can we do that if we are still trying to get out of the boat? What about the others suffering in the boat? They have to wait for you to get back into the boat so that Jesus will get in and make the problem stop.
Last thought. There are no words to help when the entire world is collapsing around you. However, I like to use an analogy that will help someone understand why "bad things happen to good people". That question has been asked a zillion and a half times. While there is no logical answer, I suggest the following.
Take a look at diamonds. When you go to purchase a real diamond, it is a really cool process. I am not talking about the strip mall jeweler. I am talking about a real jeweler with really nice diamonds. When they bring out the diamonds, they are placed on a background for you to see them. Diamonds are natural stones so some have a lot of flaws, some a few flaws, and very few have no flaws.
When the jeweler brings out the diamond, depending on the flaws in it, it will be presented on a different color backdrop; normally a cloth. The fewer the flaws, the darker the background. The reason that they do this is their flaws can be seen in contrasting light. If a diamond has flaws, when you place it on a dark background, you can see the flaws easily. Who wants to buy a diamond with problems, right? If the diamond is perfect, they will present it on a black cloth. As dark as the backdrop is, there are no flaws to see so it is presented perfectly.
Why bring this up? Because when one of Jesus' disciples, a.k.a. us, has problems, the backdrop seems dark. Jesus is constantly presenting us to God. The fewer the flaws we have, the darker the background. When your life is placed against a black backdrop, Jesus presents you flawless to God. What a flawless diamond your are. You are in the midst of the blackest backdrop of your life and yet to Jesus, He is simply displaying your flawlessness to God.
This life is not the end for Christians. We are not HOME yet. We are here to learn and move on. While your black backdrop may seem like a lifetime now, so did the acne problem you had when you were 15. This is not to minimize the problem nor is this to trivialize the pain. This is meant to help you understand that you are so very special that Jesus has chosen you to be presented flawless to God.
Don't feel as though you need to get out of the boat. Stay in the boat. After all, He told you to go to the other side. You are in His will!