April 8, 2011: Waterskiing without a Boat

“Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. ‘You of little faith,’ he said, ‘why did you doubt?'” – Matthew 14:31

Lord, how many times You must ask this question of me every day! “Why did you doubt?”

Peter was doing fine in verse 29, but then began to fear the wind. Matthew says he “saw” the wind. When did you last see any wind? Wind is invisible, Peter! But I think Matthew is using language to get at something more than just seeing with the eyes. The wind dredged up fear and doubt, reminded him that he had no business walking on water, that there’s no reason this should work. All the thoughts that kept the other 11 on the boat attacked Peter in the wind, and he removed his focus from Jesus to his perceived problems.

What’s funny is that the wind dies down as soon as they get in the boat. Did Jesus make the wind come to test Peter, or was it just coincidence? We’ll never know. But either way, I think Peter’s downfall was that he didn’t EXPECT the wind to come. The sea is a very windy place, so why was he surprised and scared that wind should blow against him?

Likewise, we should never expect smooth sailing as believers. Jesus promised that “in this world you will have trouble,” and in the Beatitudes guaranteed that those who live righteously will find opposition. Don’t make Peter’s mistake. Expect the wind before you walk on water! Focus on Jesus in the midst of difficulty. The sailing won’t be smooth, but that’s a part of the adventure with Jesus.

Lord, I WILL encounter trouble today. Fix my eyes upon You all the way through. Amen!

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