When evening came, the boat was in the middle of the lake and He was alone on land. He saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them. About the fourth watch of the night He went out to them, walking on the lake. He was about to pass by them, but when they saw Him walking on the lake, they thought He was a ghost. They cried out, because they all saw Him and were terrified. Immediately He spoke to them and said, 'Take courage! It is I. Do not be afraid.' Then He climbed into the boat with them and the wind died down.
"He was about to pass by them..." Our Lord saw that His disciples were in trouble. He sees when you are in trouble. "About the fourth watch of the night He went out to them...." This would be at 3:00 in the morning. Have you ever been wakened at this hour, unable to sleep? So many I know have spoken about this hour of the night when their troubles seemed too overwhelming to sleep, and they lay in bed feeling crushed and "straining at the oars."
In the midst of our crushing strain, our Lord is there. He is never far from us, His eye is always watching us, and His Hand is always ready to steady the boat we are in; but if we don't cry out for Him, He may pass us by! We have to reach our arms outside the boat and call for Him. Like the old hymn we used to sing, we have to cry out, "Do not pass me by!"
Yeshua (Jesus) will never ignore that plea. He was there all along. He was on the water, in the midst of your storm. His heart was moved by your strain and your struggle. But He waited for the cry of the child, and then He rushed in to strengthen you, bolster your courage, and quiet your soul! "Take courage. It is I. Do not be afraid." He climbed into the boat and the wind died down.
Kelly Ferrari Mills