When Jesus announced his plans to go to see Lazarus his disciples responded in panic:
8 “But Rabbi,” they said, “a short while ago the Jews there tried to stone you, and yet you are going back?” (from John 11)
Jesus said, in order to allay their fears, 9answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Anyone who walks in the daytime will not stumble, for they see by this world’s light. 10 It is when a person walks at night that they stumble, for they have no light.”
But evidently (and not surprisingly since they often were astonishingly thick-headed.) they did not understand because Thomas said "Let us go too that we may die with him."
What did Jesus mean by this enigmatic reply?
I believe it means that there is an appointed time for daylight and for safety (as stumbling blocks can be avoided as can pits in the ground) because there is light to see by. It means that while you are within your allotted time on this earth, there is nothing that can shorten it.
Numerous times in the New Testament, we see the Jewish leaders in fury attempting to seize Jesus or to stone him....Yet, miraculously he eludes them, Just walks safely into the crowd and vanishes from their view. He, at one point said to his brothers, "My hour has not come." And yet in the Garden of Gethsemane, he knew that his life on earth was drawing to an end. And he willingly and deliberately laid it down.
Storms, whether literal or figurative, should hold no fear for us because if it is not our appointed time to die, there is no danger of death coming earlier. That means that whatever we do to serve the Lord, we are safe if it is not our time to die. And if it IS our time, then even being "safe" at home in bed --will not save us. When God calls we must come whether at gunpoint or sound asleep. And the same is true of safety...whether we face danger at the hands of evil men or by a tornado. And if it is our time, that too holds no fear for the believer because Heaven is our destination.
I need to let this truth sink down into my soul...when there are terrible thunderstorms, I confess, I shake in my boots. We have NOTHING to fear....even circumstances like flooding in our home, or torture at the hands of evil men, God will give us grace at the time we need it. We cannot withdraw this grace prematurely. God gives us strength to get through the day and that is all. Like the provision of manna in the wilderness--grace cannot be stored up ...It is for the minute we are in. But we have the certainty that the wells of grace are deep...and full. And we need never fear that God has encountered a difficulty he is not in charge of. His grace and strength are limitless.