Soon a gale swept down upon them, and the sea grew very rough. John 6:18 (NLT)
Bad things tended to happen whenever the disciples were separated from Jesus. In many instances, they brought the trouble upon themselves. But in this case, trouble finds them out in the form of a storm.
That evening Jesus’ disciples went down to the shore to wait for him. But as darkness fell and Jesus still hadn’t come back, they got into the boat and headed across the lake. . . . Soon a gale swept down upon them, and the sea grew very rough. (John 6:16-18 NLT)
Storms are scary when experienced from the security of one’s home, but the fear factor really spikes when you’re in an open boat on a treacherous sea that’s swelling and contracting beneath you. Nothing is certain, and all you can do is hang on and hope for the best.
That’s where the disciples found themselves in this passage. By storm, we’re not talking about an ordeal that lasts an hour or two. Matthew’s gospel reveals that the disciples had been caught in this tempest for 6-9 hours! (Matthew 14:25) After hours of being tossed to and fro, something quite unexpected happened:
. . . suddenly they saw Jesus walking on the water toward the boat. . . . (John 6:19 NLT)
Don’t miss the point: Jesus is able to walk on the very waves that threaten our lives. Even when it comes to those things that threaten to drown us, Jesus is stronger, greater, and more powerful in every way. He isn’t tossed around by the waves, and neither will we if our life is fully and truly hidden in Him.
. . . your real life is hidden with Christ in God. (Colossians 3:3 NLT)