One little word–“immediately.” I read it, read past it, and then the Holy Spirit prompted me to back it up and read it again. Like a bolt of lightning, my heart leapt within me, and my soul was charged.
“But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid…Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him…'” (Matthew 14:27, 31).
We know the story from Matthew–the disciples were alone on the sea while Jesus was away praying. A storm came up and tossed the boat about, the disciples saw a figure walking on top of the water coming towards them, they thought it was a ghost, Peter walked on water, Peter began to sink.
Jesus didn’t wait. The disciples didn’t recognize Jesus, because they were too busy being afraid of the ghost on the water (and it was a dark and stormy night…). Still, Jesus immediately reassured them. Peter began to sink on the water and cried out for Jesus to save him, and immediately Jesus took his hand. There in the midst of their fear and confusion, Jesus immediately assured them of His presence and comforted them.
So why do I sit around, waiting for peace in my life? Why do I allow myself to feel alone, discouraged, or afraid, as if there is no comfort to be had? The same way Jesus responded to His disciples then is exactly how He responds to his followers now. When I awake with that dreadful anxiety clutching at my insides, Jesus is immediately there to soothe my soul. When that sudden fear strikes at me, Jesus offers immediate reassurance of His presence.
After His resurrection, just before He ascended to the Father, Jesus told His disciples He would be with them always. He didn’t say He would come to them, He said He would be with them, always (Matthew 28:20). This is true for every believer in Christ. We can’t touch Jesus physically, as the disciples did, but we can feel His presence in us through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Whether we speak His name or not, Jesus is with us–immediately.
It’s going to be a great day.