Devotion for Thursday, April 3rd

Brooke Eikenberry Lent 2014

Matthew 14:22-33
Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds.  And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone,  but by this time the boat, battered by the waves, was far from the land, for the wind was against them.  And early in the morning he came walking toward them on the sea.  But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear.  But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.”
Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.”  He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came toward Jesus.  But when he noticed the strong wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!”  Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”  When they got into the boat, the wind ceased.  And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

This is an interesting story about Peter being invited to join Jesus walking on the water at, I might add, Peter’s own suggestion. However the wind scared Peter. So he petitioned Jesus again, this time to save him. Jesus did and chastised Peter for not having sufficient faith. Note Jesus did not reject Peter because of his doubt nor did he give him sufficient faith but instead reached out and caught him.

How often do we petition God for something with hope but not necessarily full faith that the very thing we are seeking can happen? Why? Because, like Peter, we realize that sometimes we are seeking something that is outside of our human experience. That’s why we have doubt. If Peter who was a disciple and close to Jesus had doubt, is it not reasonable for us to have doubt too?  Maybe we, or Peter, asked for the wrong thing or lacked sufficient faith.  Whatever the reason, the message is clear that it does not end in rejection. On the contrary, a helping hand will be extended to us. It may not come as we had envisioned but perhaps in some unexpected ordinary way.

To walk in the footsteps of Jesus this passage says to me that while strong faith is desirable, those with doubt should not be rejected and we should offer a helping hand to those in need.

– Submitted by Dorothy Northey

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