Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus (Matthew 14:29). But when he saw how strong the wind was he became frightened and he began to sink. What I want to know is, how does one “begin” to sink? Was Peter only slowly getting wetter? If he didn’t drop like a rock into the water, his faith must have been at least strong enough to look at Jesus with a worried, confused plea of “Help me understand this, Jesus! I actually am walking on water, like you, but I don’t understand it. We’re breaking the laws of nature here. This is really very awesome, but my ankles are now starting to get wet.”
It wasn’t the waves licking at his ankles that distracted him from the full meaning of this event. It was the wind. Wind is something we never see; we only know it is there because we feel it, hear it, and observe its effects. Peter, like us, began to put trust in his doubts, in his lack of understanding, while at the same time still trusting Jesus. He could cry out, “Lord, save me!” because he no longer feared that Jesus was just a spooky ghost, an unreal illusion. He knew that Jesus was real, right there at his side, ready and able and desiring to rescue him.
In our relationship with our sweetheart, we feel, we hear, and we interpret circumstances, failing to see what Jesus sees. We can feel when something is wrong, but an emotional reaction will rarely give us an accurate picture of what’s going on. We hear a tone of voice (or in the case of emails and texting, we think we hear it) that warns us that something is wrong, but our awareness of what’s beneath the surface will rarely reach the bottom of it.
A solid relationship depends on the strength of Jesus’ ability and desire to help us. We need to give our confusions to Jesus and give him our interpretations of what’s happening. Then, in this attitude of humility, even though we begin to sink into worry or depression or loneliness or fear, Jesus — who knows far more about the laws of nature and divine power than we do — will stretch out his hand, hold onto us, and say, “Oh you of little faith, why did you doubt? Stop trying to get answers for everything. Just keep walking forward with me.”
- What sinking feeling have I had recently? Where is Jesus in this?
- What worry, fear, or other sinking feeling is my beloved suffering? How can I be the helping hand of Jesus?
Strengthen your relationship:
Read together Matthew 14:22-36. Then relate different pieces of the story to your own lives. Share what you think Jesus is saying about it. Then turn it into a prayer thanking Jesus for his help.
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© 2017 by Terry Modica of Good News Ministries