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Walk on Water…Today

13 Jun

worry05“Why do you worry?”

“Why are you so afraid?”

“Why did you doubt?”

Faith is a funny thing. Nearly everyone wants to live a life that is meaningful and filled with purpose. We live in a moral universe.  The moral choices a person makes are the primary human cause of events.  Worry, fear and doubt are examples of choices that every person faces.

Maybe you’ve noticed that one moment you seem to possess unstoppable faith while in the next moment you doubt, worry, or fear just like the men who followed Jesus the closest. [1] It is unrealistic to think that we will overcome worry, doubt, and fear once and for all. While it would be nice if we never contended with fear, worry, or doubt that is simply not the way the universe works. Just as light is best understood when compared to abject darkness so faith’s power can best be realized in the face of nagging worry, sinking doubt or hopeless fear.

“Oh, you of little faith,” Jesus yelled through the raging storm as he rescued Peter from the grasp of the Sea. In Peter’s time of need Jesus was name-calling. Seriously. He often referred to his disciples as “Ye of little faith.” But he wasn’t being disparaging so much as he was descriptive.

Amazingly, just a moment before Jesus called Peter “you of little faith,” he had been walking on water. He made the gutsy move to step out of a boat into the impossible. He had been walking on water, but not any more. Now he was sinking into the deep Sea of Galilee and he did the only thing he could…he called for Jesus to rescue him.

As Jesus reached out and grabbed onto Peter, it sounded strangely like he commented on his faith while simultaneously asking a deep theological and psychological question. Jesus said, “Oh you of little faith,” and then he asked, “Why did you doubt?” What? Was that really the best time to ask such a personal question? I might have asked Jesus, “Could we have this conversation…back in the boat… once my nerves calm down?” Apparently right up to the instant when the sinking thing happened Peter had been doing quite well, thank you very much.

Jesus asked Peter, “Why did you doubt?” So far as we know, Peter never answered Jesus. Have you ever noticed that? I really would like to know the answer because all to often I struggle with doubt. I believe, yet I doubt. Why is that? In fact, during other “Oh-you-of-little-faith-moments” Jesus liked to ask penetrating questions such as, “Why do you worry?” and  “Why are you so afraid?”

You likely have boat loads of answer to explain why you are afraid or worried. Before you settle into your explanation, consider this…

Faith is a powerful thing. It seems to me that the direction (the source) of your faith matters more than the amount of it. The “little faith” that focuses on the “wind and waves” of life results in doubt, fear or worry and is powerless and ineffective. That sort of faith often proceeds sinking…or at least that sinking feeling. On the other hand, “little mustard seed” faith directed toward God as its source is powerful and effective and precedes mountainous problems moving aside.

Faith works in the context of life. Ironically, sometimes applying faith in the context of the practical things of life can be most challenging for those of us who have had faith all of our lives. Why? Because we’ve focused more on faith in God that saves us but little on faith that sustains us. Go ahead. Step out of your boat of comfort and “walk on water.” Speak to the mountainous problem before you and walk forward…in faith. Today, believe. Today, trust God in everything. Try  faith. What do you have to lose?

“This is the victory which has overcome the world, even our faith.” (1 John 5:4)


[1] Matthew 6:30 …will he not much more clothe you, oh you of little faith? Matthew 8:26 why are you (plural) so afraid? The storm…he calmed the storm Matthew 14:31 you of little faith…why did you doubt? Matthew 16:8 aware of their discussion he asked them, You of little faith, why are talking among yourselves about not having enough bread? Do you still not understand?

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Posted by on June 13, 2013 in Leadership, Marriage, Parenting

 

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