Mar 13, 2014

Get in the Boat

Matthew 14:22  Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side... Matthew 14:24  but the boat by this time was a long way from the land, beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them.

Here’s the story in a gist: after Jesus fed the 5000 he put his disciples in a boat, set them out to sea by themselves, a storm came, and he came to them walking on the water, then Peter walked on water too, Jesus got in the boat, and he calmed the storm.  A great story that we’ve heard since VBS as little children.
I find this first part interesting though.  Jesus put them in the boat.  This boat was going out to sea, which was going to face an overpowering storm that night.  Didn't he know that?  Surely he must have known what was going to happen...He’s God, right?  The disciples obediently followed his instructions and expected that somehow he would meet them on the other side.  They were clueless as to what they would face that night.  Jesus knew, however, exactly what was ahead for these guys that night.
You know, God does the same thing to us.  God will put you in a boat, which is going out to sea, which is going to face an overpowering storm in the night.  There are on accidents with God.  He doesn't 'oops' us.  Things don’t get by him.  He is the sovereign God of the universe!  This means that everything that takes place happens under his control.  There are no accidents, no mistakes, and no unexpected or unplanned things for God.  EVERYTHING...the good, the beautiful, the sweet, the comforting, but also the painful, the bad, and the ugly are under the  control of his sovereign hand.  Now this doesn’t mean that he causes all things that happen to happen (it’s impossible for him to cause evil), but it does mean that he controls and oversees all things that do happen (he has power even over evil). 
You and I will face real, painful, uncontrollable, unexpected, unpredictable, and over powering storms in life.  They cause our souls to shake, our minds wonder, our hearts to question, and our emotions explode when the unthinkable and unimaginable storms of life become a reality.  The storms of life can stir even the hardest of hearts.  God knows this.  God loves us.  God puts in the boat.  He knows what is ahead for us when we get in the boat.  And God knows what he is doing when he does.
Why does he do that?  Why does he put us in a boat headed for a storm?  We’ll look at that in the next post.  For now, rest assured of this...even though we can’t control what will happen in the storm...HE CAN and HE DOES.  He has a purpose behind putting you in the boat.  He has a purpose in the storm. 
He’s a good God and he has a good plan for you and me.  You may be in a storm right now.  Listen, God is in control and he knows what he is doing.  Trust Him.  He’s God.  There are things in the storm that he wants to do for us and show us.  We need the storms.  In fact, we’ll never see him walk on water if we don’t get in the boat.  More on that next time.  For now, trust his plan, trust his sovereignty, and get in the boat.