The Intentional 6-Hour Storm.
Looking at the event of Jesus walking on water from the disciples' perspective made me appreciate how intricately the TIMING of each part was woven together in order to benefit the disciples.
At the height of the drama, just before Jesus gets there, they are in the middle of the Sea of Galilee, being "buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it." So, why had I never noticed that they had been battling that wind for at least six hours and had only traveled a distance of about 3-1/2 miles?
The wind was the divine "pause button" to keep the disciples safely out of harm's way--but it looked like the obstacle that was preventing their progress.
1. Disciples needed to be removed from temptation to join the movement to "make Jesus king by force."
2. The crowds needed to be dismissed.
3. Jesus needed to spend time alone with the Father in prayer.
4. Jesus needed to re-join His disciples before the crowds got to them the next morning.
Voila--enter a wind that keeps the disciples safely in the middle of the Sea of Galilee for six hours.
Can you imagine the disciples' frustration going against that wind?! They were trying to follow Jesus' instructions--and it was hour after hour with very little to show for their work. Were they wondering why the God of Creation wasn't lifting or shifting the wind? Were they thinking that if Jesus were there, it would be different? Were they frustrated that Jesus had sent them "on ahead" into that storm? The truth of the situation was that they were exactly where they were supposed to be...and Jesus was there with them.
The Perfect Timing.
The timing of a frustrating wind protected them from staying on an 'emotional high' so that when the same crowds found them the next morning, they would be ready for Jesus' difficult words--words that caused many of His disciples to turn back and no longer follow.
The timing made them ready to answer Jesus' question the next morning, "You do not want to leave too, do you?" so that Peter, who had been rescued from the waves by Jesus just a few hours previously was ready to say, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God."
The timing of the storm was Intentional and Necessary.
"This is where we should be, and Jesus is here with us."