Lord, Save Me!
Lord, You hear both my prayers and my complaints. I love You; still, I sometimes disregard You. I long for You today.
Consider: Reflect on a time when you did not get help as soon as you asked for it. However, in looking back at the experience you now see, in God's wisdom, that it led to spiritual and emotional growth.
After his compassionate concern for people forced him to postpone his retreat, Jesus gets his break for recovery and prayer. In his humanity, he was as subject to physical and emotional exhaustion as we are. To surrender to the God-given rhythms of effort and rest, of spiritual expenditure and recovery, is to recognize the wise Creator's provision for a healthy life of service. So Jesus spends time with the Father, even at the expense of sleep--that other normal, God-given provision for regular refreshment.
But again his disciples need him. Does he ever tire, as we do, of the demands his children make? In wisdom, he knows when to let them toil for some hours in their own effort (24), when to let them sink and learn from the experience, and when to rescue them with a word or a helping hand. Mark's parallel account does not mention Peter's impetuous action, perhaps because Peter, the presumed source of his account, was embarrassed by it or, having learned humility, was loath to highlight his extraordinary experience. What is clear is that the disciples were calmed and reassured by their Master's physical presence. "Presence" is a great gift we can give others in the name of Jesus, but we need an intimate relationship with the Giver of wisdom to know when to step into a situation of need, when to wait and how best to extend the hand of help.
There is also the gift of touch. Jesus' hands touch the bread and fish as he blesses and distributes them, and on other occasions his touch has brought healing (Matt. 8:3,15). Here, in allowing others to touch him, he provides a similar channel of acceptance and gratitude (35-36). Sometimes the hand that touches saves you from sinking.
Apply: You may not need to walk on water, but are you walking through a tough situation? How can looking to Christ and his power help you in this situation?
Loving Lord, I know I would be more inclined to stay in the boat rather than attempt to walk on the water. Press in on me in my love of security, and lead me into new ventures for You.