Ugh, I’m a Peter

This morning I saw myself in the Bible as I read in Matthew Chapter 14. To catch you up on the action, Jesus has just gotten done feeding the 5,000. When he was done he basically told his disciples, “Hey, I’m going to stay here with the crowd for a bit, then go up and pray. I’ll catch up.” So he sent them in their boat and went about his business. When he was done praying up on the mountain, the Bible says:

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.” 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.””

First off, let’s just take a moment to appreciate that Jesus, being God, could have just appeared on the other side of the sea, and they could have wondered how he got there so fast, but it could have probably been said he took another faster boat. Or he could have just appeared on the boat instantly, and that probably would have freaked them out too. But instead, Jesus decided to walk on the water.

Where I see myself in this story is that often times when I don’t know where God is in my life, all of the sudden, out of nowhere, he shows up, just like Jesus did on the water, and I wonder if that’s really him. Is this really what the Lord wants? I pray for God to show me if it is him and he whispers “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.” And for some reason I test Him again, and ask him to really  show me if it’s His will. He usually send me hints, and opens doors and I get out of the boat and start to walk towards him on the water of whatever it is I feel he’s calling me to. But then someone says the wrong thing to me, or  maybe attitudes of my peers don’t match mine, or there is the slightest of pushback by flesh and blood or an attack of the enemy and just like Peter fearing the wind, I start to fear and doubt.

Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”

Strangly, and undeservedly, Jesus reaches out and always pulls me out of the water.

More times than I can name, God has reached down and pulled me out of situations that I thought were the end. (Though my wife would tell you I was probably over reacting i.e. The Great Math Test Debacle of 2k18).  But God is good. And he’s opening doors we don’t know. And He’s doing things every moment we may never see this side of eternity. My message to myself and to the reader is this: have faith. God is good. He will never leave you or forsake you.

Nobody wants to be a Peter. Everyone wants to be a great evangelist like Paul or get all the revelation stuff like John. No one wants to be the guy who says “I’ll NEVER DENY YOU, JESUS!” then does it three times before the rooster crowed the night Jesus was put on trial for our sins. Today I found I’m more Peter than I thought. But thank God that he reached down into the water and pulled a wretch out like me.

“For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”

Matthew 17:20 ESV

 

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