Matthew 14:25-27 NKJV Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. (26) And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear. (27) But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”
You ever have one of those days that just goes on and on even spilling into the next and you’re wondering… will this day ever end? I imagine that was going through the disciples minds at some point on this day.
The previous morning they received the news that Jesus’ cousin John ‘the baptist’ had been beheaded and between wanting to encourage their friend and teacher Jesus, were probably having a very real thought that, “if he was beheaded for preaching repentance because Jesus was coming… what might they do to people who actually preach with Jesus?” Just when they thought they would get the day off because Jesus desired to spend the day alone praying; a crowd shows up and being moved by compassion Jesus spends the day ministering to them instead. The apostles spend the day ushering, directing traffic, helping Jesus minister and then waiting tables for 5000 men, not to mention the women and children present, miraculously feeding them with 5 loaves and 2 fish. When the night service was over Jesus tells the disciples to get a boat and cross to the other side of the sea, while He went off for some prayer time to get refreshed from ministry and to grieve for His cousin.
Now it is sometime between 3 and 6 in the morning and these guys probably haven’t slept any. Tired, confused and most likely worried from the day before they see Jesus walking on the water toward them and cried out in fear. Between their own physical and emotional exhaustion and seeing the laws of physics being broken, disbelieving their own hearts because they didn’t understand ‘how it was possible’, instead of rejoicing in the miraculous power of God their own intellect and lack of understanding drove them to fear.
When we get drained mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually, we become uber susceptible to anxiety and fear. In those moments, always listen for His voice and let it bring you peace and comfort. Let His voice and presence free you from the fear as He says, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”
He knows what we are going through and is with us in the midst of it all. When you are most perplexed, overwhelmed, and exhausted in life, recognize that the Lord desires to move in your life and He might do it in a way you don’t expect. When life is going crazy and you’re worn out, “Cheer UP!” and start looking and listening for the Lord. He is right there with you even if you don’t recognize Him at first.