...when Jesus simply says "Come."
Melissa is a teacher. As you might imagine, this August has brought more than the usual back to school jitters and low-level anxiety. Beginning a new school year always brings a certain level of uncertainty – just a classroom of children you have never met before depending on you to learn algebra would be enough to keep most of us up at night. Add to that the risk of catching a mysterious new virus, virtual students (is that really a thing?), new technology and a whole new curriculum and you’ve got an entire population of educators rethinking their career choice.
On Tuesday of this week, she woke up early and dressed to attend a Zoom meeting with local school administrators. Hoping beyond hope to receive direction, she instead got a thirty-minute pep talk and well wishes from everyone in the room. Not exactly the clear direction she was hoping for.
Maybe tomorrow will bring more clarity.
This week, I hope you will join me in praying for our teachers, students, custodians, aids and cafeteria workers as an unprecedented and historic moment unfolds right before our very eyes. As we give thanks for our heroes, I am acutely aware of the fact and thankful that I have the honor of sharing a bedroom with one of the bravest souls I have ever met. Educators everywhere deserve our thanks and praise.
You may not be a teacher, but my guess is you can relate to the fear and anxiety that I have just described. You may not have a job that has been completely recreated by COVID-19, but my hunch is that you have faced seasons in your life where you had absolutely no idea what tomorrow would look like.
Being a disciple is like that.
In Matthew 14, the disciples find themselves in a boat on the Sea of Galilee. It was the fourth watch of the night, those eerie hours when the waves seem the most menacing and the sky is it’s blackest. It is easy to see why they thought Jesus was a ghost.
Who walks on water?
Surely the son of God could rustle up a dingy.
Everything seems scarier at 3AM.
It’s not in the Bible, but I bet those fishermen screamed like schoolgirls on the playground.
Jesus’ called out to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
Peter wanted proof.
“If it’s you, tell me to come to you on the water.”
That’s it? No clarification? No instructions? No YouTube video on how to walk on water in the middle of the night when the winds are blowing and the waves are crashing against the side of the boat?
Peter went. It wasn’t pretty (he sank and had to grab Jesus’ hand), but he did what none of the others would do. This story doesn’t teach us how to walk on water, but it does teach us that when we are willing to step into the unknown that the hand of God always stands ready to reach out and to pull up.
I believe we all need to be reminded of that simple truth today. No matter what you face…no matter how dark the night…no matter how menacing the waves…Jesus simply says, “Come.”
You can go there. Just step.