Despite my original thoughts the first time I read through Matthew 14 (v. 22-36), I believe the scene where Jesus walks on water is universally applicable. At first glance, we see Jesus walking on water, inviting one of His disciples to do the same, and then strong winds ceasing to blow the second the two reenter their boat. All pretty irrelevant to my life, if you ask me. I’m certainly not going for a jaunt on a lake any time soon, wind or no wind. Looking at the passage a little more closely, I realize how pertinent it is. We have a disciple floating in a boat in the middle of a lake after escaping crowds of thousands on the shore (read: overwhelming situation) being asked to walk on water (read: do the impossible). Then, after he actually steps out of the boat to do the impossible thing being asked of him, the wind picks up (life’s curve ball), and the situation that already started out as impossible becomes completely overwhelming. Doubt sets in and he starts to sink – for Peter, literally, and for us, figuratively.
At times in life we enter seasons where we simply can’t do enough to catch up. The tasks on our plate keep piling up, situations we originally thought were under control start getting worse, and then just when you start to doubt whether God really does, in fact, have it all under control, BAM: your dog dies (or insert whatever other situation that would just make everything else feel just that much more awful). It feels like you can’t keep your head above water and guess what. You can’t. But in the words of the beloved Dick Woodward: He can.
Life’s trials, big and small, certainly test our faith. I wish I could say that I never worry (Matt 6:25-26), and that I never doubt that God is working in and through every circumstance in my life (Rom 8:28), but sometimes that’s just too hard. Sometimes, things in life happen, particularly to people you love that you just don’t understand and in which you simply can’t see the good. Those are the times when all that’s left to do is lean on Him in prayer and wait for Him to put His hand out in rescue. My prayer this week is to remind myself to continue putting my faith in God, the one who is able to reach out His hand to catch us when we start sinking in doubt, the one who can calm the wind with a word.