A clear path in life is very rare. Problems abound. So often, if we had it our way, we would navigate our own route, bypassed the bends and backroads of life, and seek a direct, quick path to our plans.
But straight routes are rarely part of God’s navigational system in life. God’s way is often an unfamiliar path, requiring all of our faith. Think about Peter in Matthew 14 22-34. He and some of Jesus’s disciples had spent the evening with Jesus, healing miraculously feeding a crowd of over 5,000. As the disciples traveled home across the lake, a sudden storm stirred up. As the vessel (boat) struggled against the waves, the looked up and saw Jesus walking toward them on the surface of the water.
Peter called out, asking Jesus to identify Himself, and then Peter would draw near and walk on the water. Peter’s testimony of faith wasn’t simply in his feet strolling on top of the waves, but in his acceptance of an invitation to join Jesus on an unconventional path. At that moment, Peter didn’t walk on Galilee’s shallow waters where his feet could catch the shores of security. Rather, Jesus invited Peter to walk in the deep and join him there. Today that is Jesus’s invitation to us as well.
The road to Jesus often leads us on a confusing, faith ridden, meandering route on the waves of life. Rarely is it the simple path we might choose. But, just as Jesus calmed His disciples with the comfort of His presence that night, He does the same for us: Don’t be afraid, take courage, “ I am He.” Therefore, we can rest in the assurance that the one who leads our lives will never lead us where His presence won’t meet us.
When we’re tempted to rush toward plans we long to see established, when we are eager to bypass God’s unexpected routes, may we choose to quiet our fears, and press into the leaning of God, who heals our fears and holds us in the palm of His hands.