Hope In Life’s Sinking Spells!
by Carol Yasin
But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” – Matthew 14:30-31
When we focus on our problems instead of His Presence, we can always expect these.
Sinking Spells – That’s certainly what Peter experienced that day when he took his eyes off Jesus and began focusing on the storm around him. He’d already confounded the minds of his fellow sailors when he stepped out of the boat and began walking on the water to Jesus(Matthew 14: 28-29). No doubt that first step was the hardest of all—especially when he didn’t have any water-wings or life preserver for a backup! But step out he did, which is probably more than a lot of us would do.
That’s why we must be slow to criticize Peter for his lack of Faith, for at least he did the unthinkable after he was convinced that it was Jesus and not some ghost that was talking to them (Matthew 14: 27-28). And, even though he adopted a “trust but verify”approach to Jesus’ words (“Lord, IF it be you”—Matthew 14:28), he still took Jesus at His Word and stepped out.
Talk about an adrenaline rush! Here he was. . .stepping out of a perfectly good boat. . .walking on the water just like Jesus. . . not thinking about how far it was to the bottom. . .not worrying about the white-capping waves that were crashing into him or the salty foam that was stinging his eyes. Like fighter pilots flying in formation and keeping their eyes trained on the lead plane, so did Peter keep his eyes focused on Jesus, Who’d bid him to come to him (Matthew 14:29).
And, what’s interesting is that he didn’t take his eyes off Christ until he was within arms-reach of him—for it says “And immediately Jesus stretched forth His Hand and caught him.” This shows that we can never be or feel so close to the Lord that we can afford to click on “God-o-Pilot” or spiritual cruise control. Instead, we must maintain that daily discipline of prayer and Bible study; otherwise, we, like Peter, will soon find ourselves crashing BENEATH the waves instead of walking on top of them.
Dear Friend, do you find yourself at times “counting the odds” instead of simply trusting God? Do you counsel your fears instead of feeding your Faith? Do you look at the size of your problems rather than the size of your God? If so, don’t be surprised when you feel yourself heading straight down and crying out to God even as Peter did.
Thankfully, Jesus is always just an arms-length away.
In fact, He’s as close as our next breath or heartbeat.
That’s why we must continually focus on Him (Hebrews 12:2) by “casting down imaginations, any high things that hides His Face from our view and bring every thought captive to Him as we lay them at His Feet” (II Corinthians 10:5). Only in so doing will we keep from fear, fretting or fuming when the waves are high and the wind’s howling. Only then.