This boat I’m in…

Bible Study Reading – John 4-6:24

One of the band members of my favorite Christian band, Casting Crowns, just had surgery to remove a cancerous kidney. He and his wife post reguraly to FaceBook for believers to pray.

My sister, a youth leader in Michigan, just lost a student, only fourteen years old, to cancer, too. They held a candlelight vigil for him a few days after his death so those who loved him could mourn and pray.

One of my good high school friends has been battling ovarian cancer for many years now. We all wait breathlessly with her for every bit of news, praying along side her through the long wait. 

I am no stranger to death. The desperate prayers of a parent for a dying child are something I know well. If Jesus has said “go, your child will live,” (John 4:50) and He was standing right before me, would I have the Faith, knowing who He was, to trust and walk away? Or would I hold onto Him and beg him to still come with me, just to be sure?

What about the parents of that beautiful young man? Those, like us, whose desperate plea, unlike the officials’, was not answered with healing? Can we trust?

It’s not in the book of John, but in the book of Matthew where Peter steps out of the boat to walk on the water with Jesus. What must it have been like? To walk on water? Not calm placid water, but turbulent, heaving water. Frightening, unbelievable, incredible, I can only believe. And Peter loses faith and sinks. He reaches for Jesus, grabs His hand and is restored. He touches and is touched. 

I don’t know all the answers. In the boat, everything appears safe, until conditions change. Then all bets are off. No one knows the answers and anyone who tries to pretend to know is a liar. But Jesus is not the ghost we sometimes believe He is from the boat. He is real, calling to us in the midst of the storm, ready and willing to grasp our hand. 

In the book of John, right before His walking on water, just before His feeding of the five thousand, Jesus gives us two full chapters of exactly who He is. We can trust that He is who He says he is. Even in the midst of the storm. When He tells us to come, we should come. When He tells us to go, we should trust and go. Even when our dear child’s life hangs in the balance. Even when the waters are rushing to drown us. 

Even more than the Old Testament “to everything there is a season” is Jesus’s promise of who He is … And He knows when to grab our hand, and when to send us forth … Because regardless, He is right there beside us, every step of the way.


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