Growing up I always wanted to be a fighter jet pilot. The thrill of going a billion miles per hour and being able to maneuver and go in any direction you well please without having to stop or worry about other drivers. Not to mention being able to blow up the bad guy and save the world from the brink of extinction!
Recently I came across a story from Max Lucado about his opportunity to ride in a fighter jet. However his experience sounded more painful than I would have imagined. In his story he shared how the pilot was turning left, right, up, down and as Max was looking at his surroundings he was becoming sick and nauseas. As all this was going on Max recounted hearing the pilot humming a song because this was nothing for him. And the only way Max could keep from upchucking all over the cock pit was to look straight ahead at the back of the nonchalant pilot.
This story is a great parallel with the infamous story of Peter walking on water;
Matthew 14:22-34 – Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.
Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
We can’t chose when a storm will come in or out of our life, but we can control where we look during the storm. Storms take us on unprecedented journeys we could have never imagined. They help break the constraints we put on God and he shows us what we/he are truly capable of.
In the New King James version of Matthew 14:24 it says, “in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves.” Max Lucado shares that this is a great template to use in our day and age by substituting just a few words;
“In the middle of divorce, tossed about by guilt”
“In the middle of debt, tossed about by creditors”
“In the middle of a recession, tossed about by despair.”
In the storms is when Jesus does his finest work, because in the midst of trails he has our full attention. We allow him to work in our lives because we have nowhere else to turn. Even if you aren’t going through a storm right now, are your eyes straight ahead and focused on Jesus? If our eyes are trained to stay focused on him during the steady seas, it’ll be that much easier to do the same in the midst of a storm.