Sea Legs (by Pastor Mark Parsons)
Jesus, immediately after performing the miracle of feeding multitudes with five loaves and two fish, compelled His beloved disciples to launch out to sea to get their spiritual “sea legs.”
We understand this nautical term as meaning the ability to walk on board a ship with steadiness especially in rough seas. Jesus knew their journey would be perilous and life threatening and, therefore, went off by Himself to pray and intercede for them. Perhaps it was calm when they departed, but when they were about 3-4 miles out to sea by themselves at 3-6 a.m. and darkness was all around, they encountered a violent and vicious storm with waves battering their boat.
Jesus, knowing their perilous situation, came to them walking on the water intent on saving them all. Peter was so bold to ask, and then was granted permission by Jesus, to come to Him on the water. He was so full of confidence! Here I come, Jesus! His focus was on Jesus alone—not on the water. But at some point, he looked away from Jesus, down at the water, maybe thinking it was incredible that he was actually walking on it in this raging storm. This was when he lost his focus and began to sink.
However, like you and me today, we know in our hearts and minds that Jesus will never leave us nor forsake us, but too often we look to the storm, our faith lacking, and we begin to sink. We find ourselves under a “sea of circumstances” and not looking to Jesus who lifts us above these battering waves of fear and doubt. Perhaps our “sea legs” are in need of more training like Peter’s and the disciples with him.
When Peter cried out to Jesus to save him, like we must do, Jesus reached out and took hold of him and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind stopped. See Matthew 14:13-33.
All God’s people will also be sent out in our world today (the sea of life) to be trained and disciplined—to trust Him and have faith in Him in every circumstance we may encounter. R. W. Schambach, for more than five decades, boldly declared, “You don’t have any trouble—all you need is FAITH IN GOD.”
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