By now it was dark, and Jesus had not yet joined them. A strong wind was blowing and the waters grew rough. When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus approaching the boat, walking on the water; and they were frightened. But he said to them, “It is I; don’t be afraid.” Then they were willing to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the shore where they were heading. (John 6:17-21)
Change is a lot like darkness sometimes.
It’s difficult to see where I’m going.
I can’t see what comes next.
I know it won’t last; that I won’t be in this place of transition for an extended time. But it can feel like that, you know?
Facing change can be like being in a boat in the middle of the night when the winds pick up and the seas grow rough. I can feel out of control. And I can feel deeply, sorely afraid.
And sometimes, the presence of Jesus causes me even greater fear.
Have you ever been there?
Have you ever been in a place where the presence of Jesus in the midst of your life rocks your boat even more than the storm itself?
You’re afraid that He’s going to ask you to do something you don’t want to do.
You’re afraid that He’s going to send you somewhere you don’t want to go.
You’re afraid that He’s going to take away something you love: a dream, the vision you have for your life, a job, a passion, the status quo, the comfort of being stuck, your excuses.
You’re afraid that He’s going to step into your boat, into your life, into your right now, and take away all of the reasons you’ve created for what you’re doing or for what you’re not doing.
And you’re right to think so.
Because that’s exactly what He wants to do. But only if we’ll let Him. Only if I let Him.
I look up in the darkness and I see Him approaching me as I am tossed around by the storm of change and I’m frightened. Because He’s walking on the surface of the storm and though it swirls around Him, it affects Him not. Who is this Jesus? And what does He want?
I want to know, but He doesn’t say.
All He tells me when He comes near is: It is I; don’t be afraid.
Is that enough for me?
It was enough for the disciples: they were willing to take Him into the boat.
But what about me? Is it enough for me?
The disciples were willing because they knew Him. They’d lived with Him and traveled with Him and broken bread with Him and seen Him in action doing miracles and loving the outcasts.
They knew Him and so they trusted Him. And because they trusted Him they were willing to take Him into their boat. And immediately their boat reached the shore where they were headed.
The idealist dreamer in me would like to think that that’s all there was to it. That they reached their goal and now they could kick back and take it easy.
But that’s not how it works, is it?
Once they hit the shore, they still had many miles to travel and much more work to do and even a whole lot more to learn from Jesus.
That’s where I am right now.
Things in my life are changing direction and I don’t know where they’re going. My dreams are shifting and changing shape and even priority in my life right now. And the details of my day-to-day that have been so familiar to me for so long need tweaking at the very least and, in some instances, complete overhauling.
I have a strong sneaking suspicion that Jesus wants to take my excuses and my doubts and that He wants to stretch the comfortable places inside my passion and purpose and God-given dreamscape so that I can create them anew with Him.
And I want to know what that’s going to look like. But all He’ll say right now is: It is I; don’t be afraid.
Is that enough for me?
For today, it is.
In this moment I’m willing to take Jesus into my boat and let Him get me to the shore.
And as hard as it is, I’m willing to say that that’s enough for right now.