How often are we fully aware of what God is leading us to do, and we run in the opposite direction because of the winds and waves? How many times are we like the disciples in the boat – too afraid to walk toward the promise because of everything going on around us? In Matthew 14, the disciples are in a boat, going to the other side while Jesus is on the mountain praying. The Bible says that Jesus came to them at the fourth watch (which would’ve been around 3 am in the morning) and suddenly they see what they believe to be a ghost walking on the water. In vs. 26, it says that “they were terrified.” All I have to say right here is… They had just watched Jesus feed the 5,000. WHY WERE THEY AFRAID?!? They should’ve had enough faith that they could’ve spoken to everything going on around them at that moment and the atmosphere completely changed. But that wasn’t the case because they THOUGHT they saw something that wasn’t there and were terrified.
How often are we as Believers like the disciples? They watched Him as He performed miracles, listened as He taught the Word, and even heard Him pray directly to His Father… But they still doubted Him and His power. We have the Bible, His voice, books of encouragement and growth, and a song for any situation… And we still doubt Him. He heals people we love, restores friends’ marriages, provides money when our cars are broken down and places to live when we’ve been evicted and we’re running around scared of something that’s not there. We can believe other people for their miracles but when He asks us to trust Him through a storm or have faith when the things we see aren’t lining up with the Word He gave us… We instantly doubt that He can do anything. I know what it does to me when people doubt me so I can only imagine what it does to the One who created heaven and earth. The One who parted the Red Sea and saved the Israelites time and time again. What must our doubt in Him do to His heart?
When He calls us out on the waves like Jesus did with Peter, we should NOT hurl doubt and fear at Him. Trust me, I know. I’m preaching to the choir. There are a couple of situations in my life right now that look NOTHING like what God has shown me. Confirmation or no confirmation, I still doubt His words occasionally because… I don’t SEE what He sees. I see everything going wrong. It’s hard to trust and have faith in those times no matter who you are. So when I say that we should be able to turn our back on every distraction in the boat (fear, doubt, worry, insecurity, etc) to walk towards our promise on the waves, I’m writing to myself just as much as I’m writing to you!
Once Peter got out of the boat and began walking on the water, he took his focus off Jesus and started to sink. He started to fear and called Jesus to save him. I’m sure Jesus would have saved him even if he hadn’t called out to Him but that’s not what grabs my attention in this part of the story. It’s what Jesus said to Peter… “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” After that, they got in the boat and the storm stopped. Can you imagine? I assume there are MANY times in our faith walk when our Father is sitting in heaven asking us why we doubt. What would your response be? I wish Peter’s response to Jesus was in the Word but… It’s not.
Jesus could’ve walked out on that water earlier before the waves were too treacherous. He could’ve marched on down there and calmed it down in the second watch. So, why did He wait until the fourth watch of the night? Sometimes, we think He’s late but… He’s always on time. The later He shows up, the more struggle we face and that’s where our faith comes from. He allows us to struggle so that our faith will grow because when He shows up and that miracle takes place… We are able to see who He is for real!! Once Jesus and Peter were on the boat, the disciples worshiped and said, “Truly You are the Son of God.”
Don’t detest the struggle. Have faith. Trust Him. Believe His words and no one else’s because we know the truth of who He is when we have struggled to believe. I’m anticipating the miracles and moves of God in my situations. I don’t SEE it but my faith isn’t based on what I see (Hebrews 11:1).
Amber Smith Dash