Daily Devotional

Matthew 14:27

But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid."

What are you afraid of?

Cruising around the Sea of Galilee in a boat is always a highlight for every Israel tour group my husband, Jim and I lead. For me, getting on the boat is a faith walk. I am terribly afraid of the water! As a child, I nearly drowned—twice. I would like share with you my faith walk on the Sea of Galilee.

I knew the day was coming for this boat excursion. Finally, the day arrived…Help! “Please Lord, free me of my fear! Don’t let me break down emotionally!” I take the first step on the dock—it sways—I gulp. I am committed. A crew member offers his hand to stabilize my step on to the wooden deck of the boat. I am in. I look at the beautiful rustic wooden deck. Wooden benches surround the perimeter. I find a thick wooden pole to hang on to while seated. Whew! Only my husband, Jim is aware of my inward struggle. His glance is comforting. I smile as people around me find a seat. I try to look casual as my arm is draped around the sturdy pole. For a brief moment, I feel emotional fear welling up inside of me—threatening tears.

God brings to my mind: Matthew 14:25-35. Shortly, before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the Lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost” they said and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord save me!” Immediately, Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

I turn toward the water and stare at my fear—the water is fascinating—rolling, churning. An occasional spray hits my face. Birds are flying around the boat. The air is fresh. I realize I am free from fear! Beautiful worship music is being played on board. I am absorbed in the feeling of deliverance. Towards the shoreline I see the location of the event where Jesus fed the 5,000. Scanning the shoreline, I remembered Jesus performed many, many miracles here. I am in awe. The Lord speaks to my heart Psalm 56:3, “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.”

My attention is drawn inside the boat as the crew invites the group to learn an Israeli dance. Gathering in a circle they begin the dance. There is laughter and the sound of many feet thumping on the wooden deck in time to the music. I am so happy I am here! After the dance, people continue to roam the boat, enjoying the last delicious moments of pure, worshipful pleasure on the Sea of Galilee. The Lord speaks to my heart, “You are my daughter—I love you and will always reach out and catch you!” All too soon, we dock, and the chattering people disembark. As I step onto the swaying dock, I am praying a joyful thank you to God for giving me today—freedom from my enemy—fear. What are you afraid of? Take it to God—He loves you and is ready to reach out and catch you!

Parents: How do we apply this for our children?
1. Share with your children a moment when God helped you conquer fear.
2. Ask your children what are they afraid of?  Encourage them to talk to you and to God about it.  3. Memorize Psalm 56:3 with your child.

New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
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