Being of Good Cheer
I’m going to re-visit a verse I read and wrote about several days ago. Matthew 14:27.
The disciples were in a small fishing vessel in the middle of a sea when a storm whipped up so fast they didn’t have time to react. Clouds, lightning, thunder, wind, rain, waves, the whole nine yards. It was one angry thunderboomer.
So angry, the disciples were sure they were going to die. Picture it, water in the face, taking their breath away, waves cresting the sides of the boat, sails snapping and tearing, rain stinging their eyes, the boat rocking so violently it was a miracle it didn’t capsize. Scary stuff.
Then here Jesus appears, walking on the water, and the disciples think he’s a ghost, the Grim Reaper himself coming to carry them to their watery grave. More scary stuff.
Now, enter Matthew 14:27, Jesus spoke to them saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”
Okay, wait a minute. I can understand not being afraid. I can comprehend Jesus saying, “Guys, it’s just me, don’t be afraid.”
But “Be of good cheer”?
What’s there to be cheerful about? They were going to die! They were scared out of their minds! They thought they were looking death in its hollow, lifeless eyes, for goodness sake! Be of good cheer!?
I thought about that. Why did Jesus tell them to be cheerful? The answer is obvious: because he was with them now and he brought life.
This was a rough weekend for me. Starting Friday I felt like I was in the midst of a thunderboomer at sea, getting swallowed by waves and pelted by rain. Physically, I felt completely drained; emotionally, I felt overwhelmed and at the end of my rope. It was one of those times when I ask myself, Can I put up with this for four more months? And that scares me.
I needed to re-read this verse. I needed to hear my Jesus say, “Be of good cheer . . . do not be afraid.” I needed to be reminded that in the midst of whatever I’m going through he’s with me and he brings life.