Weather wise this has been a topsy-turvey year. We had Winter in July and Summer in January and it almost seems that Nature has got things a bit mixed up. Take to-day, for example, I am just back from my usual walk with old Shep. The flowers are blooming, the sun is shining and the bird is on the wing, or should that be, the wing is on the bird. Taking everything into consideration I have come to the conclusion that the World is not a bad place in which to live.
In this good weather everyone seems a bit more friendly. A variety of persons have recently expressed their feelings on the weather. "It's a fine morning", I heartily agreed, having experienced many a rough one. "The weather is great for this time of year", again a voiced agreement. "It's a brave morning", left one wondering what a cowardly one might be like. "A bit of weather like this will help shorten the Winter", so would some sermons I have heard recently, thought I.
Weather forecasting is a fascinating occupation. Have you noticed recently that the forecasting has become a lot more reliable. I don't know what the weather forecasters were predicting for Galilee the night the disciples set out in their sturdy craft. Perhaps there was a difference of opinion among them. Galilee was not an easy area to forecast. Without much in the way of warning the weather could change. The sea was much influenced by the hills surrounding the lake so that a quiet peaceful evening could, without much warning, be replaced by mountainous waves, deep peals of thunder and lightening moving across the disturbed scene.
The disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ were caught up in a great storm. The boat pitched and buried its nose in wave and foam. Those on board were a hardy lot. They were not easily scared, having survived many a tempest. They knew the sea in all its moods. They thought, "If only Jesus were here". But they had left Him on the land. They continued to struggle until they had all but lost hope.
Suddenly when the storm was at its worst a figure appeared walking upon the sea. Their cry of fear arose above the sound of thunderous waves and creaking timbers. "Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid". It was the Master's voice. "Lord, if it be Thou, bid me to come to Thee on the water". Jesus said, "Come" and wonder of wonders Peter walked on the water.
I know that Peter soon took his eyes off the Lord and his faith failed him when he saw the full fury of the storm. But I feel nothing can distract from Peter's response to the Saviour's invitation. In the fury of the storm Jesus had said "Come" and Peter did just that.
On the voyage of our life we all encounter storm and tempest. It seems that there is no sun in the heavens and we are enveloped in darkness. The storm may come in the form of a bereavement. Perhaps sickness, failure in an important examination or the collapse of a business.
In such times of sorrow and loss Jesus comes and reminds us that He is ever near to bless and cheer in the darkest hour, and His invitation to the storm tossed troubled soul is still "Come"