“And he got into the boat with them and the wind ceased. And they were utterly astounded, for they did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened.” v. 51-2
It may have been the most frightening moment of my life. If not, it was among the top ten. On my return trip from Niger, we were flying into Paris around 6:00 a.m. We were encountering stormy skies and turbulence that made me feel the plane would literally fall apart any second. Approaching the runway to land, my sigh of relief was interrupted when the plane suddenly aborted the landing and shot back up into the stormy atmosphere. Just when I thought we were through the storm, we were back in it again. Two nervous hours later we were sitting on the runway in Lyon, waiting. Apparently the winds in Paris made landing dangerous so the pilot had aborted the approach and took us to another airport to wait out the stormy weather. After a long wait on the plane we took off again and headed for Paris. The two hour journey was filled with more turbulence than I remember ever encountering. I was scared. I prayed that the one who calmed the sea would calm the winds. During that time I fixed my mind on a vision of the Lord walking on the water, and trusted he was walking on the clouds too. After two hours of rocking and bouncing through the skies we arrived safely in Paris. After landing I had to laugh at myself. I had just spent two weeks in West Africa seeing the powerful hand of God working in the lives of people, guiding, protecting, and keeping our team in such a beautiful way, but a couple of hours in a stormy flight had me scared to death. Had I forgotten all he had done before? Why wasn’t I able to connect the dots and see that the God of the West African desert, was also the God of the skies over Paris? I think I understand the disciples at this point. They had just seen Jesus feed a multitude in a miraculous way, but went into a panic when they saw the same savior walking through across the wind battered seas. They, like me, had trouble connecting the dots. They were still learning that the Lord of the bread and fish is also Lord of the sea and storm. I suppose one of the great lessons of faith, for Jesus followers, is how to connect the dots. We see our Lord prove himself over and over, and yet our weak flesh quickly forgets what he has done when the next storm comes. Lord, teach us to connect the dots.
Help us remember today that the Lord of the sunrise is also Lord of the dark night. The one who can cause bread and fish to materialize in his hands, can give us daily bread today. The one who can shift a weather pattern with a word, can hold us in the storms we face. The one who conquered death is able to manage your life when you release it to him. Are you facing a storm today? An unmet need? Look back at all the places his hand has brought you. Connect the dots. He didn’t feed you in the desert so he could lose you in the storm. Trust him today.