Panic and dread swept over him as he contemplated his decision to step off the relative safety of the vessel and into the tempest toward his friend and mentor. Wind swept waves crashed around him as sea spray drenched his outer clothing and he began to lose his footing, sinking deeper into the darkness that seemed to swallow him up with every passing second. With confidence lost, he now found himself trapped and doomed to perish when he cried out, “Save me!” Even before his words could be squelched by the winds, he was swept up and rescued by the very one he sought to reach in the first place as he heard these words, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
At one point or another we all have found ourselves in tough situations where all at once it seemed that everything was crashing in on us? One minute we are planning for the future and the next we are wondering what the future might hold, having received terrifying news that a loved one is desperately sick or the job you have held for the last quarter of a century is being “dis-continued”, effective in days! All at once our confidence is shaken to the core and we are searching for answers, grasping at any handhold within reach.
In my opening narrative we read of just such a thing happening to an individual who had the confidence to step out of his comfort zone yet, when things got tough his confidence was completely shaken. In the Gospel of Matthew chapter 14 and verses 22-33 we read the whole account of Jesus walking on the water, in the dead of night and coming up to the wind tossed boat He calls out to the disciples, who as you would imagine were terrified upon seeing Him…save one.
Peter, calls out to the Lord and says. “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water” (v.28). Jesus seeing an opportunity to build up Peters faith simply says, “Come” (v.29)! Of course Peter climbs out of the boat and walks toward his Teacher. Yet, as he walked toward Jesus, Peter found himself looking not at his Lord but at his own surroundings. Wind howled all around him, waves were crashing at his feet and the boat where he found sanctuary just a few minutes before was getting further and further away with every passing step. Panic stricken he cries out and is quickly rescued being held onto by Jesus. All is good! Or is it? Peter now finds himself with Jesus but, still on the water.
So often we wrongly assume that when we desperately pray for rescue from our trials and tough situations that God will quickly remove us from our circumstance and put us on solid ground, or in Peters case, back into the boat. But often times God will choose to leave us in the trial, wanting to teach us that He has everything under control even in this troubling moment. He hasn’t abandoned us, He still is at our side encouraging us to trust in Him through it all wanting us to know that there is nothing that His children will experience without it first being approved by Him.
I am reminded of a song recorded by the Christian group Mercy Me called “Even If”, and in that song the singer proclaims that, “when You choose To leave mountains unmovable, Oh give me the strength to be able to sing, It is well with my soul.” Also, In the Book of Proverbs, Chapter 3 verses 5-6 it is written, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.” There is much to be said about trusting in Him that can be expounded on in another piece, but this I will say and close with. If our earthly Dads allow us to fall off the bike while trying to teach us how to ride and in the process let us experience failure so that one day it will serve to remind us to persevere, then how much more will God, our Heavenly Father, expect us to trust in Him even if all hope seems lost? He knows that in the end it will cause us to grow in grace and understand that He will always be holding on to us, even in the worst trials imaginable.