“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
“Come,” He said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,”he said, “why did you doubt?” -Matthew 14:28-31
I had a Peter kind of ending to my week.
Can you relate?
The beginning of my week started out great. In the storms of my anxiety and fear, God reached in and showed me truth – that although I wasn’t hanging onto faith or trust, He was still present in the details of my life.
I was so thankful and yet regretful that I hadn’t trusted Him.
And then the high of Monday and Tuesday turned into the “hmmm..what if..?” of Wednesday.
And the “oh boy, the good stuff isn’t actually going to happen” of Thursday.
And as Thursday slipped into Friday, I was just a mess.
I was Peter.
I hadn’t been sure of who He was initially in my storm, but He showed Himself to me, by calling to me anyway – and that was the respite of my Monday.
I felt good as I walked onto the water (so to speak).
And water-walking seemed safe and easy. Things around me quieted as I had tunnel vision and tunnel hearing – insulated from the stormy chaos by gratefulness – so that all I was seeing Jesus in front of me.
But like Peter, I shook my head.
I lost the tunnel vision.
I looked around.
I tried to make sense.
And where there had been the quiet of peace, the storm noise again increased. A thundering, scary crescendo of my own worry.
And I slipped from the waters surface and began to sink.
And like with Peter, He reached for me, pulled me straight out of the water, reassured me and said “Why did you doubt?”
Everything worked out, just as He promised me on Monday..by Friday afternoon, it was fine.
And although I was (I am) happy, I am equally saddened by my own doubt-filled days.
As I read Peter’s story again, I found myself wondering..what did Peter say? Did he answer the question “Why did you doubt?”
Can I answer?
I can’t right now, but I pray I will someday.
For now I can only hang my head a bit and say “I’m sorry Jesus. I wish I hadn’t. Thanks for grabbing for me. Again.”
For tonight, I focused more on the question itself.
I don’t think Jesus was mad at Peter for doubting.
I don’t think He was frustrated or annoyed with Peters lack of faith or about having to rescue him.
I really think Jesus was a bit..saddened. Bummed.
I think what Jesus wanted to convey (to Peter then, to me now, to all of us when we doubt..) was really this:
“My beloved friend, why? Do you know what this moment could have been?
For your belief in the power of God? For your witness to others?
If you had refused to give fear an audience..imagine! I wanted that for you! What you already know about the power of Heaven could have made you FLY over this storm.
I will use this story too, write it down – how I am God and therefore you walked a few steps on top of waves, slipped and then I caught you.
Others will gain from your story.
But, man, the tale I wanted you to have? It was going to be great.
The one where you walked all the way across the water, without fear because you knew I was real, so the threat was not. What a different power that story would have held! But it’s ok. I love you still and always. I just wanted everything to be perfect for you.”
Yes. I think thats it. The world is radically changed by stories of believers that didn’t doubt, who finished their walk on the water, who look back to see people climbing out of boats and walking on rough waters-because they just watched it being done.
Faith inspires faith, not doubt.
Jesus grabbed me, so I am safe.
I am just bummed that I hadn’t remembered I always was safe, and finished my water walk.
Slightly Water Logged and Authentically Yours,