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Oct
29

Hope When You’re at the End of Your Strength:: 1

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“Immediately after this, Jesus insisted that his disciples get back into the boat and cross to the other side of the lake, while he sent the people home. After sending them home, he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Night fell while he was there alone. Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves. About three o’clock in the morning” (Matthew 14:22-26, NLT).

You will recognize this as the familiar text where Jesus walked on water and Peter had the opportunity to walk to him on the surface of the sea. Before I get to that I want to share a few observations about the problem the disciples faced. The text describes the dilemma as four fold. First, the storm rose suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere. Second, the disciples were far away from the security of the shore. Third, the wind was strong, making it hard for the disciples to maintain their balance. Finally, it was the middle of the night. The darkness would have impaired their vision. Parallel accounts allude to the fact that the disciples had expended all of their strength as they rowed in futility. Those four things are fairly obvious.

Perhaps the most important aspect, though, is the fact that Jesus sent them into the storm. Jesus was on the mountain top in prayer while the disciples struggled on the sea below. Sometimes we find ourselves in problems because we do stupid things. Our poor decisions, bad judgment, and undisciplined indiscretions create messes of our own design, and while those messes are unfortunate, if we’re honest we can at least say, “It’s my own dumb fault.”

But what happens when we find ourselves reeling from the sudden storms due to the fact that we are doing exactly what we are supposed to be doing? That’s where the disciples found themselves: struggling in the middle of doing the Lord’s will.

What can we do when we’re at the end of our strength? Tomorrow I’ll finish the story and share some insights that will hopefully be helpful, regardless of the cause of your storm.

Categories : Hope

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