When I was young, I used to wonder if I would someday be required to walk on water like Jesus did. (I’m pretty sure I won’t have to do that.) It’s one of those stories that really catches a child’s attention. Recently I was reading it again and I noticed something new. He is walking, not only on water, but on a stormy sea!
But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary.
I hadn’t realized that there were waves and a “contrary” wind. It really does change the image. So now, picture Peter. He climbs out of a boat which is tossing about on these waves. Nevertheless, he wants to be with Jesus and he walks toward him… amongst the storm and tumult!!! It is really very impressive! And then:
But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.
It was when he “saw the wind boisterous” that he began to fear and sink. The tumultuous waves must have been terrifying. Peter was successful until he changed his focus from Christ to the wind and storm surrounding him. Those waves had been there the whole time and Peter was aware of them because he had been out in the “the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves”
Certainly I am aware of many waves, tumult and storm swirling around me. You cannot be alive today without being surrounded by tempest. I guess that the question for me has become, “Where is my focus?” There are certainly things that I do not need to spend my time worrying about – but the greatest, most personal storms DO need a lot of time and attention. If your child is sick you do need to seek medical attention, if you are moving across the country you do need to pack your house, etc. etc. Then, in the middle of everything, we need to have a positive attitude. We need to take care of the big things, and the everyday things, and help other people with their things….
Sooo…. in order to keep our head above water, it would appear that the skill we all must be seeking is how to take care of everything needing care – while maintaining a focus on our Savior.
I think that this will take a lifetime of practice.
In my life, I tend to not get very far and then, like Peter, I become afraid and begin to sink. Here is a beautiful lesson for us… since we all fear, we all begin to sink…
And immediately Jesus stretched forth hand, and caught him
This scripture says IMMEDIATELY Jesus caught him. He was right there and waiting… but go back one verse and see what immediately after what?
Peter cried out for help…. and Help was there. (Matthew 14:24-31)