With us every step of the way
by Andy Cokayne 5 April 2022
Reading Matthew 14 v 22-36
I have a book left to me by my mother, about the poem 'Footprints', in which we realise that in hard times, Jesus has not left us on our own, but is rather carrying us.
In this passage from Matthew's gospel, Jesus has learnt that his cousin, John the Baptist, has just been executed. He wants time alone with his father, but crowds learn he is in the area, and go to him. Here in this solitary place, he feeds the crowds, then sends them away. Jesus sends his disciples ahead to the other side of the lake, while he goes into the mountains to have time with his Father and pray. Leaving the mountainside, Jesus makes his way to the boat walking on the water. The disciples are afraid of the figure walking towards them. Making himself known, Jesus speaks the often repeated command in scripture, 'Don't be afraid'.
You may be battling in a storm today. We are encouraged to take our gaze off the storm, and fix our eyes instead on the one who comes to join us in the storm, speaking words of courage, 'Don't be afraid'. While it is easy to read, to follow the instruction is another thing. Yet we are encouraged by Jesus, to look back at how he has been with us in the past, and will be alongside us through the future. The words recorded at the end of Matthews gospel ring with the same theme, 'And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.' (Matthew 28 v20). His words should still echo in our ears 'Don't be afraid'. Remember Jesus is with us every step of the way.
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Heavenly Father speak to me out of the storm, to challenge, humble, inspire and change me within, and I thank you that you will never leave me alone; that you are with me every step of the way. In Jesus name. Amen