Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Tuesday's with Jesus #109

#109 "A New Perspective"
"'Come', He said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!" Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," He said, "why did you doubt?" And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God." (Matthew 14: 29-33)
Rosanne Rosanadana used to say, "It's always something". Just when we get over one hurdle, something else gets in our way. We thought we learned our lesson from the last storm. But before we know it, here comes another one. So, here the disciples were again. Somewhere in the fourth watch of the night, between 3 and 6 in the morning, they find themselves in another storm. They had been rowing since sometime after sundown and were nearing exhaustion. Rough sea and head winds were preventing them from making any progress. It seems like they were just in a storm....it was just six chapters ago! There, they had witnessed the power of Jesus over nature (see Matthew 8: 23-27). But this time was different. This time He was not with them. No sleeping Jesus in the stern of the boat. Jesus was up on a mountainside, alone, praying. What the disciples didn't know was that from this mountain Christ could observe them in their boat (Mark 6:48).
Maybe what you need to know today is that Christ can see you in your storm. In your boat being rocked by trouble. No matter how alone and scared you may be....He can see you from where He is. And He wouldn't have prevented this storm in your life for all the tea in China. (Not sure if He likes tea..but oh well, anyway..) He wants to give you a new perspective. A fresh look at Who He is. A new comprehension of His true identity. 
During their last encounter with the rough waters, Jesus showed the disciples that He had command over the wind and the waves. He could take the breath right out of nature and calm it back. But this time He wanted to show them a different side to Himself. They knew Him to be a great healer as evidenced by the miracles that they had witnessed. They knew Him as Teacher. But they still didn't fully comprehend who He was. The new lesson for them to learn was that Christ's power would sustain them in every appointed task, regardless of whether He was present bodily. He is not just a healer and a teacher. There is more to learn about Jesus and He now comes to them in a whole new way. A way that they have never seen before. And for this lesson to be learned a whole new dilemma had to be created for Christ to show up and show off.
They were fighting the wind and the waves and as if that weren't bad enough, here comes a ghost walking on the water! Night spirits were thought to be extremely dangerous, especially to night travelers. Many pagans believed that spirits of those drowned at sea never could descend to the realm of the dead, but wandered endlessly above the waters. (Ach.Tat. 5.16.1-2) It didn't even occur to these guys that Jesus could know their plight, walk on water to come to them or catch up to them in a storm! But here He comes in a whole new way. Walking on the water! And aren't they just like us? We always blame the devil for every storm. I think we give the old serpent way too much credit. Yes, some things in our lives are certainly demonic. However, not every circumstance is orchestrated by our enemy. Sometimes Jesus just wants us to get fresh revelation of Who He really is. And He wants to let us know that we need not be afraid.
Don't despise your storms. When David was delivered from the hand of all his enemies in 2 Samuel 22, he wrote this in his song of praise: "He parted the Heavens and came down; dark clouds were under His feet. He mounted the cherubim and flew; He soared on the wings of the wind. He made darkness His canopy around him--the dark rain clouds of the sky. Out of the brightness of His presence bolts of lightning blazed forth."  Jesus just may be coming to you today with dark clouds under His feet and dark rain clouds all around Him. But lightening is blazing, His voice is thundering and your enemies are about to be scattered and routed away. He will draw you out of the deep waters and rescue you from that which is too powerful for you. From those who are too strong for you. The Lord will be your support and He will bring you into a spacious place. He will rescue you because He delights in you.  
"It is I", He says. "Don't be afraid." Literally He says, "I AM. Don't be afraid."  "I AM the one who you know as Healer. I AM the one you know as Teacher. I AM the one you witnessed perform miracles. I AM the one who calms the sea. And now, I AM the one who saw what you were going through and the One who walks out on the surging waters to rescue you, my beloved! See, I'm showing Myself to you in a whole new way. And without this particular situation, this particular storm, this particular crisis, I would have never been able to show you more of Me." On such a dark, stormy night it was hard for them to see Jesus clearly, but the sound of His familiar voice, saying "I AM", brought reassurance where sight was insufficient. You may not be able to see past the nose of your trouble today, but let His voice bring you the reassurance of His walking as many miles as it takes, on the water, to rescue you. 
If you have never been sick, you won't know that He is your Healer. If you've never been broke, you won't know that He is your Provider. If you've never been addicted, you'll never know that He brings complete deliverance. If you've never been abused, rejected or used, you'll never know that He brings beauty for ashes and heals broken hearts. If you've never had some years of your life stolen from you, you'll never know that He will redeem the years that the locust has eaten and give you double portions for your former shame. If you've never felt empty inside, you will never know the joy of feeling rivers of living water flowing from your belly. If you've never had broken relationships you'll never know the joy of restoration. The excitement and delight of seeing broken things put back together in their original, intended position. 
Be Christ-aware, not self-aware. Let Him show Himself to you in a whole new way today. In whatever form your personal storm may take. Wait for Him to show you who He is in that place. Don't look at who you are. You can't do it. Again, wait for Him to show you who HE is in that place. And then, next time you're sick you'll know that He's your Healer. Next time you're broke, you'll know that He's your Provider. Next time you have a problem, you'll know that in the same way He brought you out this time, He'll bring you out again. You'll know Him to be what you need Him to be, because you will have seen it with your very own eyes!
The Bible says that when Jesus got into the boat, the wind died down and the disciples worshiped Him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God." They finally got it. They now saw what He wanted them to see. When they recognized the works of Jesus, they learned more of His character, and their appropriate response was to worship Him. It deepened their relationship of faith with the Lord they loved. And when we see Jesus, walking miles on the water to deliver us, we will worship Him. Our relationship with Him will deepen. We will see Him as He truly is. We will have fresh, new perspective! 
Donna Schultz
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