There are several passages from the Bible that I absolutely love. One that always sticks out as one of my favorites is the story of when Peter walks on water, but as he begins to sink Jesus is there to grab his hand and help him. The story is found in the gospel of Matthew chapter 14 verses 22 to 33. It was night, the disciples were in their boat, but a storm was causing their boat to be tossed around. During the middle of the night Jesus begins to walk on water towards them. The disciples are frightened and think it’s a ghost. Jesus replies to them, “Take courage, it is I: do not be afraid.” Peter then tells Jesus that if it’s him to tell him to walk towards him on the water. Immediately Jesus tells Peter to come and he begins to walk on the water towards Jesus. However, the wind picks up and Peter gets frightened and starts to sink. He cries out for help and Jesus reaches out to help him but questions Peter on why he doubted.
I love this passage for several reasons. I think we can all relate to Peter in that we doubt sometimes. We’re human. When we’re experiencing a ‘storm’ in our lives, we worry, we doubt, we lose sight of God and get caught up in the world around us. Instead of turning to God to help us in our struggles, we allow ourselves to drown in our fears and anxieties. And just like Peter we cry out for help. And who is there to help us? God.
“Take courage, it is I: do not be afraid.”
— Matthew 14:27
Let’s look at the Bible passage again. Peter is able to walk on water when he’s looking at Jesus. When his eyes are firmly focused on him, he’s able to walk on the water. However, the moment he looks away because the winds pick up and he gets scared he begins to drown. I’ll say that again. The moment he looks away from Jesus and allows his fears to consume him, he begins to drown. Jesus’ reply to him is perfect in that he tells him, “Oh you of little faith, why did you doubt?” Why did he doubt? He clearly saw that he was able to walk on water when he was focused on Jesus. Peter wavered in his faith. Yet as he cried out for help, Jesus was there to grab his hand and pick him back up. This is exactly what Jesus does for each of us.
When we have our gaze focused on our Lord, we can do all things because we are aware that He is with us. When we have faith in God, we can do all things because we trust in Him and His plan for us. When we look away from God, we become consumed by the things of this world. When we waver in our faith, we begin to doubt in God’s goodness. When this happens, fear and anxiety wins and the peace and comfort God offers us is lost. However, the moment we cry out for help, Jesus is there to offer us a helping hand. We simply have to be willing to grab on. God never forces us to do anything, He blessed us with a free will, but if we ask for help He will always be the first one there to rescue us.
Let us strive to keep our eyes firmly focused on Jesus, remembering that with him all things are possible. Let us strive to stand firm in our faith, knowing that we have a God who loves us unconditionally and has a plan for us in our lives. But if we falter, let us have the willingness to latch onto the helping hand of our Lord who will always be there when we cry out for help. Do not be afraid to call out to the Lord. He is always right there waiting for you, even if you have turned your gaze away from Him and have gotten lost. It simply takes one cry for help to have our loving father put you back on course. As you pray, ask Jesus to help you keep your eyes firmly focused on him for he is our hope and our light in the darkness.