Wednesday, June 1, 2016

The Fourth Watch of the Night

"And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea."

It's almost tempting to leave this without comment. The simple beauty of this verse strikes me deeply, and I think would move me even without knowing the context. But knowing that Jesus went out to meet his disciples, who had been struggling against the wind to get across the lake, who were weary and probably feeling like they'd never make it across, by simply walking out upon the sea to meet them, leaves me utterly speechless.

Isn't it just like him, to show up when hope is on the verge of being lost?

Isn't it like him, to wait until we're spent, we've expended all our efforts against the wind and waves, our arms like rubber from pulling the oars and we feel like we've made it no farther to the shore? Isn't it just like him to show up then, and to show up effortlessly, sauntering toward us on top of the water, making light of the thing we're striving against?

For him it is nothing. For us, it's an insurmountable task. So he waits, till the fourth watch of the night, till we've spent ourselves on the task that's too much for us to begin with, till we're ready to see him coming towards us on the waves.

And from there, well, he calls us to leave the boat, and walk with him.