Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.
Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.
But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
“Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
Have you ever been caught up, in a very ordinary moment, by an extraordinary insight that you just know came from God and was a direct answer to something you had been pondering? There you are reading a book, watching a movie, or carrying on a mundane conversation and suddenly -TRUTH- jumps out at you and sinks in so deep that you will forever after associate that thought with that particular book or movie or whatever.
I had such a moment reading the book “Cold Sassy Tree,” in which a character starts ruminating on the nature of prayer and “ask and you shall receive. “Why would Jesus say such a thing when it doesn’t always work that way? The character concludes that Jesus must mean something different than what we think. Here is an excerpt from the book:
“Jesus was saying that if you get beat down, or scared to death, you can’t do what you got to do, or scared you’re going to die, or scared folks won’t like you-why all you got to do is put your hand in God’s and he’ll lift you up. I know it for a fact. I can pray “Lord, help me not be scared,” and I don’t know how but it’s like an eraser wipes the fear away. I found out a long time ago when I look on what I got to stand as a hardship it seems too heavy to carry. But when I look on the same thing as a challenge, accepting it is like you done entered a contest. It even gets exciting waiting to see how everything’s going to turn out.
Jesus meant us to ask God to help us stand the pain, not beg him to take the pain away. We can ask for comfort and hope, for patience and courage and to be gracious when things don’t go our way and we’ll get what we ask for every time.”
When Jesus came walking on water to the disciples, he told them not to be afraid. Peter, in a characteristic excess of enthusiasm, asks to walk out to him. But when he starts to notice the storm raging around him, fear rises up, and he begins to be afraid. He is scared he can’t do it and scared he’s going to die. But he cries out, “Lord, help me !” And immediately Jesus-calms the storm? Puts dry ground under him? No, immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand and caught him…he was held. Through the fear, we are held when we cry out to Him for help.
“Why did you doubt? Why were you afraid? Did I not say it is I? Do you trust me, or do you doubt me? Only believe, and all things are possible. Have faith in God. Trust me.”
Beautiful words and I believe them with all my heart, but what when it’s me crying out for answers and real solutions to life’s problems? What when I ask and hear only in return, “Do you trust me? “
Turn on the radio, and it’s Lauren Daigle singing, “When you don’t give the answers when I cry out to you, I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in you.”
Open the Psalms to find comfort there and read, “Happy the man whose trust is in the Lord,”
Subbing that day at Southside Middle Scool, showing Alladin to the French class, he reaches his hand to a hesitating Jasmin poised to jump the rooftop, “DO YOU TRUST ME?”.. bold English subtitle.
In a classroom full of oblivious kids, God speaks to me five times that day, will I hear? Surrender. Acceptance. I will trust you, Lord. I don’t need answers. You are with me, and it is enough. I am held. Abide in me, and I in you. I believe. Help thou my unbelief, and I will doubt no more.
Lord, help us remember in these troublesome times that we are held. Like the Nicole Nordeman song,
“This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise was that when
We’d be held.”
Our normal is falling apart, and fear threatens to sweep the world in a pandemic equal to any virus. Help us to put our trust in you and not give place to fear. We ask for comfort and hope, patience and courage, and grace to help in this time of need. These are all things that have their source in you, and if we abide in you, they are ours also, freely given to all who ask and call upon your name. May we see these days that we are now called to live through not as something to fear and dread but as a challenge, an opportunity to display your character, your grace under pressure. In Jesus name, Amen
Alyson Hunter is originally from Scotland and moved to Muncie 41 years ago when she married Jeff. She loves to read, sew, and play with her 6 grandchildren. She has been part of Commonway family for seven years and enjoys being part of the women’s Bible study.
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