Welcome to our Sunday Devotion. As I read through the lectionary scripture for this week, Matthew 14:22-33, I felt comfortable reading the well-known story of Jesus walking on the water. Jesus beckoned for Peter to join him. Peter stepped onto the water, but then filled with fear, his faith faltered and he started to sink. Peter’s fear became stronger than his faith. Perhaps I’m sad because I know there have been times in my life where my fear or worries also overcome my faith. Can you look at your life and find similar times?
I can look back at so many instances where I believe God was truly watching over me and I can see the love and wisdom of the Holy Spirit at work. So why do I at other times doubt God is walking my journey with me?
One of my favorite parts of the book (and movie) The Shack by William P Young is when the narrator was sinking in his boat. Jesus came to him in that moment of distress, walking on the water to him, assuring him he was alright. Jesus held out his hand and invited the narrator to get out of the boat and walk with him. When it was time to cross the water again, the narrator stepped out onto the water first and immediately sunk onto the sandy bottom. Jesus stepped up beside him and said, “It always works better when we do it together, don’t you think?”
“It always works better when we do it together, don’t you think?” Why do we forget to include God in everything we do? Why do we let fear and worries control our actions instead of “doing it together” with God?
Many times I have tried to wrestle a solution out of my brain, so intensely focused on it I could not go to sleep. But I also remember one night turning to God in conversation, expressing my confidence that I could to go to sleep and God would help me find that solution when I awoke. It was a bold move for me. The next morning when I awoke, the solution came to me quickly. So why do I doubt this can happen again?
I’m sure that many of you have similar experiences where your faith is overcome by worries or fear. In the scriptures this happened multiple times for the disciples, so we are in good company. The best part of this lesson is that God is faithful in his desire to walk with us, We are given wonderful opportunities to experience faith over fear and we, too, like the disciples in today’s scripture, are able to declare our belief in God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
May you recognize the workings of God in your life and may your faith grow stronger than your fears and worries.
(Author: Bonnie Barber)
Various authors throughout the Chesapeake Bay Mission Center and beyond provide these thought-provoking weekly devotions.