Faith – Scripture Reading: Matthew 14:22-33
I’ve spent a fair amount of time in the woods, and in the dark, my imagination has gotten the better of me a few times. But that was spooked, hearing creatures prowling the woods in the dark.
Have you ever seen anything truly unsettling? Or been in a situation that has scared you? Not spooked or the startled kind of scared, when someone jumps around a corner and says boo. But honestly and truly scared because the situation was legitimately dangerous, and the outcome uncertain? Perhaps you saw something and your brain could not process the reality of what you were seeing.
The disciples were scared a time or two. One of them is the memorable moment when Jesus, walking on the water, came out to their boat in the middle of the lake. They saw something that didn’t make sense. Exposure to Jesus’s other miracles or not, they were not prepared to see a man walking on top of the water as if it were land. Their reaction? “When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear” (Matt 14:26). We can chuckle a bit from the safety of our distance centuries. Ghost! How quaint.
That may not be entirely fair to the disciples. However, they are soon calmed, at least a little, by a recognizable voice. Jesus reassures the terrified twelve that it is him.
We know the story, Peter asks for some proof, We could hound him for that. Don’t you recognize Jesus? That might be a little too unfair. His adrenaline is likely still up from his fright, Perhaps the other disciples were still too scared to say anything. It’s a stretch to think that the sound of Jesus’s voice put everyone else at perfect ease and it was only Peter who wanted to be sure that their terror was unwarranted.
Peter wanted to know that the person/thing claiming to be Jesus really was And, coming failure aside, he had the courage to get out of the boat when Jesus gave his permission.
Peter knew Jesus could make it happen, He had the courage to ask to do something; Jesus allowed Peter to come, He didn’t ask Peter to come. Peter actually hoped over the side to do something he knew was impossible. That took big faith But he had asked and Jesus had said yes. So, over the gunwale he went. Peter showed true trust and faith. True faith asks . . . and then acts.
Prayer: God, I don’t always have faith enough to ask or act. Forgive me for the times my faith is too small, or my response is to doubt. Help me to see you where you are and ask to join you in what you are doing. Give me the faith to move when you call me out to you no matter how impossible it may seem.
Reflection: What have you asked God for? Have you had the courage to ask for the improbable or the impossible and then to act on God’s answer? Where is God moving that you should ask to join Him?
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