Do you ever completely get used to the feeling of leaving the stability of dry land, stepping first with one foot and then the other into a small, unsteady vessel? No matter how many times you’ve done it, no matter if you step boldly over the side or tentatively extend your leg, inching your foot down until you feel the bottom of the boat, it rocks under your weight.
You adjust your balance, holding your arms out, maybe reaching back for a hand still on land to steady you. Any support you find there just reminds you of what you’re leaving behind.
Land doesn't move. Water never stays still. It's hard to keep your footing when what's under you is constantly shifting.
Add to this insecurity the gathering darkness of evening and a strong wind chopping up the sea into whitecaps, and a three or four mile row on the water doesn’t sound like a delightful excursion. What if the waves get bigger? This boat seems very small—what if we capsize? What if we drown in the dark and no one sees us and no one even knows?
Then, there’s a man coming toward you. Suddenly, it's Jesus—the only one whose presence can bring calm, the only one whose glance can reassure you that all is well (or if it isn’t yet, it will be soon). Things should be fine now—except they aren't, because Jesus is walking on the water, which just makes the whole experience even more nightmarish.
Then, He speaks: It is I. Don’t be afraid.
Don't be afraid . . . and how could you be, any more, once those words in that voice land on your ears? He’s here. He’s with you now. Don’t be afraid. Before you can reach out and pull Him into your boat, you’ve somehow reached the shore and your fear is already receding and you’re hugging your companions and feeling almost giddy with relief. No matter how bad it almost got, no matter how hopeless and frightened you were, He had you all along.
He has you. Don’t be afraid.
Abbey Dupuy writes her life as a homeschooling mama of four while relying on coffee and grace. You can find out more about her here.