45 Just then he compelled his disciples to get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. 46 After saying farewell to them, he went up on the mountain to pray. 47 By the time evening came, the boat was out on the sea, and he was alone on the land. 48 When he saw that they were straining at the oars against an adverse wind, he came towards them about the fourth watch, walking on the sea. He intended to pass them by. 49 But when they saw him walking on the sea, they thought he was a ghost and cried out; 50 because they all saw him and were terrified. But immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.” 51 Then he got into the boat with them and the wind ceased. And they were utterly astounded, 52 because they did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts had been hardened.
seeing the ghost of Jesus
These were committed disciples with a history of following Jesus. Yet, all it took was a few hours of difficulty with Jesus not being physically present for them to forget about all the evidence of his power. When he finally did arrive, they didn’t even recognise him, thinking he was a ghost.
You may have to endure hours, or even years of your life when you cannot feel the presence of your Saviour. Like those disciples, this does not mean your Lord is gone. He sees, he knows. You will cry out for help, but you will get no immediate answer. Your heart may harden.
Some people turn away from what had seemed a genuine faith during such times. Stories like this are in the Bible to remind us to endure such times, and trust that the ghost of Jesus will prove to be his real presence, come to rescue.
LORD, prepare our hearts to trust you during the storm, and wait for your return.