Saturday, April 29, 2017
When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they began to be afraid. But he said to them, “It is I. Do not be afraid.” John 6:19-20
This very familiar phrase was spoken once again: “Do not be afraid.”
The setting is significant. It is dark and the Apostles are out to sea. If you’ve ever been out in the middle of the sea when it’s dark out you’d know that this is a bit frightening. You cannot see the land and you feel as though you are surrounded by nothing. The Apostles would have been feeling a bit lost as if they were in the middle of nowhere.
But, in the midst of this experience, Jesus came walking to them and told them, “It is I. Do not be afraid.” This would have been quite consoling to them.
We must see in this experience of the Apostles the daily experience so many have. Many can feel as if they are surrounded by nothing, alone and lost. Sure, this may not be an overwhelming feeling for some, but it is all too often an experience many do have to one degree or another.
This Gospel passage reveals to us that Jesus comes to us no matter where we are or whatever the situation is that we find ourselves in. He does not wait for us to come and find Him, rather, He enters into our lives right where we are.
This experience of being at sea in the dark comes in many forms. Perhaps your life is filled with activity, but you still feel alone. Perhaps your life is one where you do not have many around and feel the constant experience of isolation. Or perhaps you put on a good face and present yourself as one who has it all together, but inside you are deeply struggling. Whatever the case may be, Jesus wants to come to you and to console you.
Reflect, today, upon these words of Jesus. Listen to Him say to you, “It is I.” As you hear Him say these words, turn to Him and acknowledge His presence. Let Him come into the dark sea that you may feel surrounds you. Hear Him say, “Do not be afraid.” There are so many experiences in life that we can fear. So many times that fear can take hold of us. If we but let ourselves focus in on Jesus, the fear of our daily surroundings disappears. We discover, deep within, that Jesus is right there and that all is well because He cares and is in control. Let Him into the boat of your heart and let Him take over. He is coming to you and is waiting for a response.
Lord, so often I fail to acknowledge Your divine presence in my life. So often I fail to see you coming to me. Help me to know that You are always there. Free me from the many fears of life, dear Lord, and give me courage to welcome You fully into my life. Jesus, I trust in You.