Immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” Matthew 14:27
Jesus did not come to His disciples during the first, second, or third watch the night the storm swept over the Sea of Galilee. Instead, He waited until the fourth watch, approximately 3:00 A.M., when the waves were at their fiercest and the wind at its strongest.
The afternoon before, He had miraculously fed five thousand people with five loaves of bread and two sun-dried fish. The people had witnessed a miracle but missed the underlying lesson of Christ’s deity. Christ immediately withdrew to the hillside to be alone with the Father while sending the disciples ahead of Him across the sea. Then the storm hit.
Storms often come even when we have been obedient. The disciples never questioned Jesus’ judgment in directing them to set sail without Him. The feeding of the five thousand was meant to illustrate that Christ was their complete sufficiency. However, the lesson needed underscoring; and Jesus allowed the winds and the waves to do just that.
Is there a storm raging in your life, maybe one that is not for your own doing? Has the cry just gone out for the beginning of the fourth watch, and you feel as though all hope is gone? Take courage! Jesus will not leave you alone in the storm but will come to you. He is your present help for troubled times.
Don’t leave me alone in the storm, Lord. Come to me and be my help in troubled times.