“Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Without warning, a furious storm came up…so that the waves swept over the boat.” Matthew 8:23-24.
It used to be my belief that the greater the Christian the better the life. My definition of better was more about having an easier life than experiencing Christ. As I get spiritually older I realize all too clearly that the Christ-led life is much different than the Christian life. The difference is whether you are the one on the shore listening to the teachings of Jesus or the one who follows Jesus into the boat. Either way we know Jesus but which experience provides a more intimate relationship with God?
Most likely, those who didn’t follow Jesus into the boat still saw the furious storm from the water’s edge. I am sure they must have been concerned but they lacked the emotional experience of being spared from the storm…they witnessed it without experiencing it. They never felt the fear so they missed out on the comfort. They lacked the emotional probability of their life being cut short, so they missed out on the miracle of deliverance.
We each choose whether to stay on the water’s edge or follow Jesus into the boat. While we can be storm watchers and storm chasers running up and down the banks we will never be called storm survivors. It is only when we follow Jesus into the boat that we begin living a life of tumultuous adversity followed by divine delivery. Through each of life’s storms we learn the faithfulness of God and the incredible love and loyalty He has for each of us.
Some of the most tender moments with Christ in my life is when He leaned over the side of the boat and gently pushed us away from shore. Scary as it may be to go into deep and unchartered waters, the calm that He provides is a calm that can never be found on the water’s edge.