One of the things I love most about blogging, is connecting and building relationships with people from around the world. Ruth resides in the UK and we "met" through another Christian blogger and fast became friends. Our conversations on Twitter are always positive and uplifting and I eagerly look forward to her blog posts because she is a gifted writer. Ruth writes with a certain vulnerability that is absolutely beautiful. So, without further ado, I lovingly hand my blog over to Ruth.
My name is Ruth, I'm 26 years old and married with two children. I had a difficult childhood and became a mum at 16, but God has never relaxed His hold on me. He is taking me on a journey of faith, and through my blog, I'm sharing what I learn along the way.
Let’s set the scene. That day, Jesus had taken one boy’s small offering of five loaves and two small fish and had turned them into enough food to feed five thousand. An astounding miracle, causing an excited crowd to realise that this was the Messiah. But refusing to be made ‘a king by force’; to assume worldly titles; Jesus withdrew from the crowd and went to be by himself (see John 6:15).
‘That evening Jesus’ disciples went down to the shore to wait for him. But as darkness fell and Jesus still hadn’t come back, they got into the boat and headed across the lake toward Capernaum.’ John 6:16-17
While it was light, they waited – but as darkness fell, they jumped in a boat and headed off without Him. Maybe they were afraid; maybe just impatient and eager to reach their destination. The accounts in Matthew and Mark indicate that Jesus may have actually told them to go on ahead. But either way, they had left Him behind. How many times in our own lives do we stop waiting on God and jump in the boat without Him? It’s growing darker where we are and we’re desperate to get to where we’re going, so we set out alone and hope for the best.
‘Soon a gale swept down upon them, and the sea grew very rough. They had rowed three or four miles when suddenly they saw Jesus walking on the water toward the boat. They were terrified.’ John 6:18-19
To be alone in a storm is unnerving. To be alone in a boat, in the dark, in a storm – then to see someone walking towards you on water? Terrifying. When we find ourselves caught up in storms, we may struggle to recognize God in the midst of it. At times like this it’s hard not to fall overboard – but thankfully, God never abandons us (see Hebrews 13:5).
‘But he called out to them, “Don’t be afraid. I am here!”‘ John 6:20
They set off without Him, but still He came. And Jesus was not merely reassuring His disciples here, He was reminding them who He was. The Greek here translates to: ‘I Am. Stop being frightened’, just as God told Moses: ‘I AM who I am. Tell them I Am has sent you’ (see Exodus 3:14). Jesus was telling them that He is God and they must not be afraid. ‘I Am’. They would be safe now.
‘Then they were eager to let him in the boat, and immediately they arrived at their destination!’ John 6:21
Frightened by the storm, but now calmed by His presence, they now welcomed Jesus on board. When this incident is described the gospels of Matthew and Mark, we see that Jesus calmed the storm. In John, we see that He took them out of it – instantly, they arrived at that place which they had been unsuccessfully trying to reach by their own efforts. They were so close to their destination – they just needed to allow Jesus into the boat.
As hard as it when our lives are at their darkest and we are afraid, we must keep seeking God in the midst of our storms. When we have set off without Him, it is not too late to invite him on board. And when we are in that difficult period of waiting on Him, eager to take the next step; becoming discouraged as the dark sets in; we must continue to trust in His perfect timing. In the midst of the storm, be still and know that He is God. ‘I Am’.
Thank you, Ruth, for these beautiful words!
In the midst of the storms of life, have you encountered the Great 'I AM?'
What was that experience like?