April 11, 2023

Joel Hernandez
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?” 32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
Matthew 14:27-33

Most of the time in life, we prefer control and clarity over the unknown. As humans, we are typically creatures of habit and don’t like change or uncertainty. We really like being comfortable, doing the same things, with the same people, taking no risks. If we really evaluate what is at the root of why we so desperately cling to our comforts, it’s often fear: fear of the unknown, fear of missing out, fear of failure, you name it. Unfortunately, this pattern can lead to stagnancy, resisting change, and results in a lack of growth and faith. God calls us to take steps of faith, dare I say outside of our comfort zones, in order to glorify Him. Abraham thought that he was too old, Moses struggled with his speech, many of the disciples were uneducated fishermen. Instead of letting those things cripple them, they pushed past the fears and insecurities they might have had and walked in obedience to glorify God.

Matthew 14:27-33 gives us a great picture of what it looks like to face fear, doubt, and uncertainty and to focus and trust in Jesus. We see Peter having to choose between staying in the boat or stepping out onto the water. He ultimately does get out of the boat, but the wind and waves scare him and cause doubt to creep back in. Jesus’s response to Peter’s doubt is to “immediately” help him. The irony was that Peter was safer outside of the boat and on the water with Jesus than in the boat without Him.

What circumstance or situation have you found yourself in where you struggled to trust in Jesus? Maybe you’re in that position now. You’re currently in a boat that is being tossed every which way, but it feels deceivingly safer to stay in it, to choose familiarity over faith, even if it is riddled by fear. In reality, we are promised peace, hope, and grace if we would just surrender control and choose to follow Jesus. This leads to a greater dependence on the Lord and a growing of our faith. Of course, we may have doubts along the way, finding ourselves using the words of Peter, “Lord, save me!” Even so, Jesus is faithful to respond, picking us up and walking with us.