During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. "It's a ghost," they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid."
"Lord, if it's you, " Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water."
"Come," he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!"
Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "you of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?" (Matthew 14:25-31)
I used to read this passage when going through difficult times. I always interpreted it as "Every time I take my eyes off Jesus, I sink. Jenny... get more faith... keep your focus.... you can do this." Me. Me. Me. Is that what you gather from this passage? If there is anything I'm learning about the Gospel is that it is only by Christ we are "getting" anything.
Lord, save me!
This is where my heart rests. These very three words. These are the important words. What do we do when we see the wind and the waves? Because, let's be honest, the wind and the waves sometimes physically block our view. We are deterred. Paul speaks about the storms and the evil one literally and physically keeping him from reaching his desired destination. Did he lack faith? Was he not focusing on Christ?
Lord, save me!
This is what we often fail to say when we are sinking. I forget to cry out a prayer of rescue in challenging moments. Why? My lack of faith that He is able to actually rescue? Was this what Christ was referring to when he said to Peter.."you of little faith." Was Peter doubting at that moment that Jesus could actually rescue him? When Jesus engages with us amidst our suffering and fear, we are able to see him as the Great Rescuer He truly is. We must be willing to walk out on the water, even if we can't see his face.
May today it not be about me and my abilities. Oh God, as the wind and waves swell in the mundane and chaos of my life, may I cry out Lord, save me! And most importantly, give me the faith to believe you can and will and do. Engage with me today in the storms. Call me out onto the sea, so I may experience you deeper.
And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshipped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God." (Matthew 14:32)