Sink or Swim!
“’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?’”1
When my kids were learning to swim, one of the biggest struggles they had was learning to put their head under water. The swim instructor would assure them that she was right there and would help if they needed it, but still my children would resist going under water. One day my daughter finally gathered the courage to do it, and slowly went under water. Her instructor stood right next to her talking loudly for my daughter to hear her voice while she was under. It took several tries, working little by little, but today my daughter is an avid swimmer and often recalls the words of assurance from her instructor that she would hear while under water.
I often think of how it might be easier to follow and obey Jesus if we had him here in person, just like the swim instructor. However, when we read stories like today’s passage, we realize that fear and doubt are natural responses that creep in no matter what. Peter had Jesus right in front of him, with arms stretched out, and telling him to come, but he still doubted. I love Jesus’ response though. When Peter cried out, he immediately reached out and caught him. I can almost imagine Jesus shaking his head as he was bringing him out of the water, but Jesus reassured him and questioned why he doubted.
I am sure each of us could identify with Peter in one way or another. Where have we allowed doubt and fear to enter our lives? What is God calling us to do that we may be avoiding because we doubt we are prepared? Whatever it is, my friend, Jesus is there. He is calling us to have the confidence to take that first step. Just like my children’s swim instructor, Jesus is right by our side, giving us words of assurance as we keep trying to “swim” in his ways. And in those moments where we start to sink, Jesus is ready to come to our rescue when we call out to Him.
Suggested prayer: “Dear God, thank you for never leaving or forsaking me. Thank you, also, for your patience with me as I learn to trust you and confidently follow your will for my life. I pray that in those moments when fear and doubt creep in, that your voice would overpower them. Help me keep my eyes on you. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. In Jesus’ name, amen.”
Matthew 14:28-31 (NIV).
All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.