Extended reading: none; if you are caught up, you are doing well!
22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone,24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.
25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.
27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
29 “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
How is it possible for mere mortals to keep their focus on Jesus when life gets treacherous, uncertain or just beyond human control? Matthew 8:23-27, Mark 4:35-41, Luke 8:22-25, John 16:20, all ask the question “Why are you afraid?” – “Where is your faith?”
When I was training to pass my test to become a Jr. Lifeguard, I knew I would have to swim a mile without stopping in an allotted amount of time. It took practice, desire, listening to my teacher and building up my physical body before I could believe I could face the challenge.
Faith to me is like that mile. I must mind my words and actions so that I am practicing my faith, I must have the desire to be a reflection of God’s love and I must study the Bible and rely on Scripture to give me that spiritual “muscle” to calm the storm inside and know–Jesus has me – it is well with my soul.
Dear God, how is it that we do not trust that you catch us by the hand to save us? Why is our faith so small that we do not believe your promises? Increase our faith so that we may see your hand at work. Give us the courage to step out in faith and believe that you are always with us. In Christ we pray, Amen.