Lately I’ve been reading through the gospel of Matthew. Jesus’ life is fascinating! All the travel, the crowds, the miracles, the parables, the feather-ruffling Pharisees, His calm and peaceful spirit, His sacrifice, His LOVE. I could go on and on! One of the stories I recently read sticks out to me at this point in my life. You MUST read the whole story because it’s impeccable. I can’t do it justice in my own words. Keep in mind this takes place immediately after he miraculously fed the 5,000 with five loaves of bread and two fish. So here is God’s Word [and then some of my thoughts]:
“Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat by this time was a long way from the land, beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them.”
I’m already challenged. JESUS needed to retreat. Ya know, I’m not much for huge crowds of people. I get very overwhelmed and HAVE to refuel by retreating alone. Otherwise, I’d lose my mind! BUT Jesus didn’t just retreat, take a nap, sit on the couch eating bon-bons. No! He retreated after the busyness of the day to PRAY. He needed time with His Father. How refreshing it is to spend time with God, yet we don’t always refuel ourselves by spending time with Him. A nap or and episode of Gilmore Girls sometimes sounds more appealing. [SAD!] If Jesus– the perfect Son of God– needed this time with God, how much more do WE need this time!
“And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, ‘It is a ghost!’ and they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.’”
Jesus is WALKING ON WATER! Have you ever tried that? Yeah, pretty tough!
“And Peter answered him, ‘Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.’ He said, ‘Come.’ So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, ‘Lord, save me.’ Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, ‘O you of little faith, why did you doubt?’ And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, ‘Truly you are the Son of God.’”
[MIND BLOWN]. What just happened?! Peter actually walked out to Jesus on the water! The next part hits me square in the face. When Peter SAW THE WIND, he became afraid, and he started sinking. When he took his eyes off of Jesus, he was filled with doubt. Fear overwhelmed him, and he was a GONER! Woah. This is so me. He cried out for Jesus to save him, and of course Jesus does. Then Jesus says to Peter… “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” Extremely. sharp. dagger. to. the. heart. OYE! THIS IS ME! I am just like Peter, ladies. I can hear Jesus whispering this sentence in my ear. WHY do I allow Satan to distract me so badly? WHY do I take my eyes off of Jesus? WHY do I allow the wind [finances, health scares, a cranky toddler, etc.] to divert my focus from Jesus? WHY DO I DOUBT?
Oh, how human it is to doubt. I know there are at least a few of you in the same boat [see what I did there?] as me. Our eyes aren’t always on Christ but on the wind. Jesus rescues Peter from the tumultuous waves, they step back into the boat, the wind ceases, and the disciples praise Jesus! They knew HE had the power. He really is the Son of God! They were in awe of HIM. Sometimes I focus on my doubt. I dwell on guilt and my shortcomings. When in all reality, I should stop looking at the wind, refocus back on Jesus, and PRAISE HIM. He’s in charge of calming the winds. Not to mention… He truly is who He says He is.