When we think about Jesus sending out His disciples the12 being sent out to preach the gospel, heal the sick, and cast out demons come to mind. Maybe we think about the 70 He sent out later on. Or perhaps we even think about the Great Commission and how we are all sent to make disciples of all nations. What we don't think about is Matthew 14, when Jesus sent His disciples into a storm.
We could argue that He didn't know there was a storm coming - but since He is Jesus - that argument won't hold up. In Matthew 14:22 Jesus "made His disciples get back into the boat and cross to the other side of the lake while He sent the people home." (NLT) After they boarded the boat and headed out across the sea, Jesus spent some time alone in prayer. While He was praying, the disciples found themselves on the sea, at night, fighting a bad storm.
He knew there was a storm building - but He sent them anyway. Of course, about three in the morning, He came to them walking on the water. But I still can't get over the fact that He knew there was a storm and He sent them anyway.
My point? God doesn't always help us avoid bad, difficult, hurtful, or hard situations. But He will come to us in our point of need. He will bring us His peace in the midst of the storms life tosses our way. He will equip us for the journey and He won't leave us alone in the storm. Think about this - if Jesus had said, there's a storm so I'm not sending you out on the boat tonight - Peter would have missed the opportunity of walking on water. The disciples would have missed a huge lesson on faith and trust. They would have missed the revelation that He was who He said He was. (verse 33)
God doesn't always protect us from the storm - but He keeps us in the storm. Just like the disciples, we learn so much in the midst of the storm. Our faith is stretched. Opportunities to trust Him abound. And we understand more about who He is - we see Him more clearly.
Today, I'm going to thank Him for the storms. My prayer will be that He will increase my faith and trust in Him; and that I will be able to see Him through the wind and rain. I'll look to Him on the rocky seas of life and trust Him for one more trip across the lake (translated - one more day!). I'm going to look for opportunities to trust Him and step out of the boat onto faith. Will you join me?