“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.’” -Matthew 14: 30-32
To give some quick context to this story out of Matthew, Peter and the other disciples have just witnessed Jesus walking on water. Peter in all his ambition decides that if Jesus can walk on water, then he should go for it as well. So, Peter does, he gets out of the boat and starts to walk on the water and it is at this point that our verses for today begin.
I love this story. But, not in the way I learned it in Sunday School. Whether it was intended or not, this story always came off as the way to help us learn not to doubt Jesus and if we reach out him he will save us. I think there is so much more to the story here.
There are two main parts that really hit me about who Jesus is and how Jesus brings peace into the middle of our doubt. One, Jesus did not wait for Peter to find a way on his own to gain the strength to reach out to Jesus as he was sinking and feeling overwhelmed. Jesus reached out to Peter. Jesus reached into the doubt, chaos and sinking and grabbed Peter’s hand. He didn’t wait for some “prove it that you mean it” moment when Peter called out, he went in to action. Jesus peace and love is always willing to go in to action.
The second main part that really hits me about this story is that Jesus says “you of little faith, why do you doubt”, he does not say, “you of little faith, why do you doubt me”. And, he says this after going in to action and saving Peter. Jesus does not ask this first and wait for answer to see if Peter is deemed worthy or not. He brings calm to doubt and fear first. It is almost as if Jesus is questioning Peter on why he doubted himself. Reminding him that he was with him through this.
What ever it is they may be causing doubt in your life, know that we are loved deeply Jesus, who hears us when we call, his love, peace, mercy, and grace are always ready for action. Jesus reach out to you, even in the middle of doubt.
Tomorrow: Peace in the Middle of… “Excitement”