v 19. They had rowed three or four miles when suddenly they saw Jesus walking on the water toward the boat. They were terrified, but he called out to them, “Don’t be afraid. I am here!
Real love never goes absent – it always calls out ‘I’m here!’
The promise to God’s people in Isaiah 43 remains for us too:
But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you.
O Israel, the one who formed you says,
“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.
I have called you by name; you are mine.
When you go through deep waters, I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up;
the flames will not consume you.
Love does not act to keep us out of difficulties – the storms will still blow round us and life might well be tough. The promise however is that God accompanies us through those times. In the hard times we may well find ourselves shouting out ‘Where are you, God?’ And every time the answer will come back ‘Don’t be afraid. I am here.’
If our love for others is going to mirror the love of God for them, then we too might have to say to folk ‘We will stand by you in your difficult times.’ If the fellowship of our Growth Groups is to mean anything, then they are the place where love for one another has to grow as we support others in their difficult times.