Monday, August 08, 2011

When the Waves Roll In

Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.”
Matthew 14:25-33

This is one of those amazing stories in the Bible. A storm. Jesus walking on the water. Peter walking out to Him. Peter seeing the storm and calling out to Jesus for help. Jesus rescuing Peter from the waves. And the declaration by the disciples: You are the Son of God.

It's so easy to shake our heads at Peter and think, "You were a fisherman! Why would you be afraid of the storm? You must have gone through dozens of storms during your career. Why were you afraid of this one?"

I think it's a matter of perspective. True, Peter was used to storms. But he was used to weathering them in a boat! There was certainly a sense of security about that small wooden vessel. Directing the sails and working to guide his boat to safety would have allowed him some control, albeit very miniscule in comparison to the fury of a storm.

I often wonder how it is that the storms of life distract me so easily. I've been through many storms. Why do certain ones cause me such anxiety? And after I have passed through them, look back and think about the circumstances, I see that this particular storm was often small when compared to others I have experienced. I'm not sure why that is?

I do know that one constant has not changed: Jesus is in the storm with me. He has already "walked out onto the water" ahead of me. When my eyes begin to see the waves and wind instead of the One who walks with me, He still reaches out His hand to pull me into the safety of the boat.

One step at a time. One storm at a time. I hope to learn true trust. And to be able to recognize that He truly is the Son of God...

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