highs and lows

Activated - - NEWS - Sa­muel Keat­ing Executive Editor

The Chris­tian life is made up of moun­tains and val­leys. There are times when we’re on ex­hil­a­rat­ing peaks of joy and hap­pi­ness. And then there are times when we feel de­mor­al­ized, aban­doned, and alone.

Think of when Je­sus mirac­u­lously mul­ti­plied five loaves and two lit­tle fish and made enough to feed a crowd of 5,000 men, not count­ing the women and chil­dren! Imag­ine be­ing

1 one of the dis­ci­ples dis­tribut­ing that un­end­ing sup­ply of food! They were prob­a­bly over­flow­ing with the elec­tric sen­sa­tion of be­ing part of a mir­a­cle. They must have felt like they were walk­ing on air.

But when we next see them, they’re in a boat in a rag­ing storm, fac­ing waves that are threat­en­ing to drown them. In the midst of their fear and de­spair, Je­sus comes to them, walk­ing on the wa­ter, and says, “It’s me. Don’t be afraid.”

2 It’s in­ter­est­ing how the dis­ci­ples had those two ex­pe­ri­ences one right af­ter the other. What a day! First, they’re on a giddy pin­na­cle of hap­pi­ness, wit­ness­ing their Lord’s abun­dant sup­ply and bless­ings, and the next thing you know, they’re fear­ing for their lives in a wild storm.

Per­haps Je­sus did that to show His dis­ci­ples that living for Him wasn’t only sun­shine and glad­ness. That there are also rag­ing storms that threaten to drown us with fear and doubt. He may have been try­ing to pre­pare them for both sce­nar­ios.

Ac­tu­ally, it’s of­ten those times when the storms of life over­take us, when waves of doubt and fear rise up against us, that we see Je­sus most clearly. When ev­ery­thing we’ve trusted in has fallen away, our ves­sel is fill­ing up with wa­ter and sink­ing, if we call out to Him: “Master, we per­ish!” we too will see Him walk­ing on the wa­ter to­ward us. And He will say the same thing to us as He said to His dis­ci­ples: “It’s me. Don’t be afraid.”

1. See Matthew 14:13–21. 2. Matthew 14:27 MSG

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