Briefing: I don’t know anyone in law enforcement who has had a perfect career. We all have had storms to deal with.
Dispatch (Assignment): Read John 6:16-24.
On the Street: My career started out really well. I loved being in law enforcement and really felt like I was making a difference in people’s lives. I was promoted to sergeant and had a smooth first couple of years. One day a storm blew in, a career storm. I went through a period of time when there seemed to be a target on my back.
It got to a point where I needed to get out of the line of fire and regroup. I deliberately bid a shift and assignment that I never thought I would even consider. My spirit and love for the job had been crushed. It was a time in my life where God revealed to me that I had more focus and desire to succeed in my job than I did in my relationship with Him.
It was in this storm that my life focus changed. I grew in my trust and faith in God and began to let go of my pride and self-interest. I learned to let go of my bitterness and anger and began to get serious about imitating Jesus. It was the greatest season of spiritual growth, I believe, I have ever experienced.
In these verses, the disciples have a similar experience. A storm seemed to come up out of nowhere. These were fishermen who had grown up on this lake. They knew how to spot developing storms and avoid them. This one took them by surprise. They began to fight against the storm but were not making any progress. Jesus appears on scene and the Bible says they were “terrified”. In the Gospel of Matthew it says they were terrified because they thought He was a ghost.
The disciples did not recognize Jesus was at work in this storm. We know from Mark 4:41 that Jesus can control the wind and the waves. I believe this storm was for the benefit of the disciples. It was an opportunity for them to grow in trust and faith in Him. It appears there was a point when the disciples were not willing to take Jesus into the boat. We see in John 6:20 (NIV) they were willing to take Jesus once He said to them, “It is I; don’t be afraid”.
Whether it was intentional or not, it was a good exercise in faith and trust for the disciples. We must recognize that Jesus also allows storms in our lives. These are opportunities for growth and maturity in our relationship with Him.
Can you look back on your life and career and see where Jesus provided seasons of growth? When you see the storm clouds building or find yourself in a storm you never saw coming, take advantage of the situation and draw close to God. Jesus tells us, “It is I; don’t be afraid”.
What happened when they recognized Jesus for who He was and allowed Him in their lives, the boat? The Bible says, “immediately the boat reached the shore where they were headed.” John 6:21 (NIV). This part of their journey was finished. I think the object lesson was over.
Investigational Resources: For more on dealing with the storms in your life, read Acts chapter 27. The other accounts of this story can be found in Matthew 14:22-33 and Mark 6:47-51.
Officer Safety Principle: Use the storms in your life as opportunities for growth.
from The Gospel of John Through the Eyes of a Cop
©by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
Click here to check out the entire Through the Eyes of a Cop series!