Strong Faith Equals Wet Feet

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This morning I wandered downstairs to the kitchen, where my early-rising husband was getting ready for the day.  He stared at me.  Are you okay?  I smiled and put my rice-bag in the microwave.   Already my feet had become cold from the short walk down the stairs.  Seeing me this early, in motion, is not a frequent sight.  There is a lot on my mind, though, and sometimes God wakes us up so we can spend time together without interruptions.

Later today we have a date in the city with some of his favorite doctors.  The past three days his voice has taken a turn downhill, which gives us enough alarm and strong reason to see what’s up in the subglottic region of his throat.  Not sure if it’s systemic because of the raging ear infection he’s had for a few months now (waiting for insurance to go through to get it looked at properly), or collateral damage from everything that’s happened to his ear, nose and throat the past ten years.  We shall find out later today.  It’s easy to start sinking into fear.  The world is so very full of scary, unpredictable things.  When I spend more time skimming news headlines instead of the Word of God, the shaky, fearfulness starts to creep into my heart and mind.  I am Peter when he took his eyes off of Jesus and stared at the raging sea and started to sink.  Fear cripples you, silences you, and lies to you.  Fear is the result of taking our eyes off of Jesus.  If you don’t know how to look to Jesus, I would assume fear has a strong hold on you.

In Matthew 14, Jesus had just finished feeding over five-thousand people. He sent his disciples into a boat and then sent the masses away.  What a job that must have been.   I feel weary after sending my five to their little beds each night, let alone five-thousand.  Then He went up into the mountains to be alone and to pray.   It was the middle of the night by now, and Jesus was very aware that the disciples were headed into a storm.  Knowing the story already, we know that He has the power to calm the storm, so why didn’t He?

He knows the principle of muscle overload.  Doing more than we are used to handling in order to make us stronger.  His business is to strengthen our faith.  So He keeps the winds blowing and the waves surging and starts to walk towards the little boat full of fishermen.  I’m not sure if they were afraid of the storm, so much as we know they were afraid once they saw Jesus walking on the water.  They mistook His presence for a ghost, and that scared them senseless.  Maybe they wondered, like you and I, HOW can all this be happening if Jesus is right here?  Why is the wind still blowing, and the storm still raging if Jesus is here?

Then Jesus confirms His presence, and encourages them not to be afraid.  “Do not be afraid.  Take courage.  I am here!”  Yes, this crazy wind doesn’t negate the fact that Jesus is here.  He is testing your faith.  Peter takes Jesus’ advice and has amazing courage.  He asks Jesus to call him out of the boat and walk to Him.  “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.”  If Jesus is who He says He is, then He will call you too.  Because Jesus is in the business of strengthening our faith.  He simply says, “Come.”

This is the craziest part of the story.  Peter actually does it.  He climbs over the side of the boat and starts walking on the water.  I don’t imagine his feet are dry, or his clothes even.  The waves are still wavy, the wind is still blowing.  But he isn’t sinking.  He isn’t drowning.  He is eye-to-eye with Jesus.  His power and courage and strength are ours when we’re eye-to-eye with Jesus.  We’re never untouched by the storms of life.  We might even be soaked head to toe, but we don’t have to sink.

Then, it happened.  Peter saw the waves.  He knew they were there, but now that’s all he saw.  His focus changed from Jesus, who called him out of safety, to the danger where he was called.  A scary, scary place.  To confirm the fearfulness of the situation, and the danger of changing his focus, Peter actually starts to sink.  The Bible says, “When he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink.”  Fear does that.  Pulls you under, chokes the life out of you, paralyzes you.

Three words are all he has time to utter:  “Lord, save me!”  Jesus is so good.  He doesn’t tilt His head and think it over while we flounder and gulp water.  The moment we call out to Him, He saves us.  He says to Peter, and to us, “You have so little faith.  Why did you doubt Me?”

We don’t have to sink.  His power and courage and strength are ours when we’re eye-to-eye with Jesus.

“When they climbed back into the boat, the wind stopped.”  One day, there will be no more storms, no more fear, no more pain.  The salt from our tears will no longer sting our faces.  Jesus is there, and we will never again know fear or sadness.

Come out of sadness from wherever you’ve been
Come broken hearted let rescue begin
Come find your mercy, Oh sinner come kneel

Earth has no sorrow that Heaven can’t heal
Earth has no sorrow that Heaven can’t heal

So lay down your burdens, lay down your shame
All who are broken, lift up your face
Oh wanderer come home, You’re not too far
So lay down your hurt, lay down your heart
Come as you are

There’s hope for the hopeless
And all those who’ve strayed
Come sit at the table
Come taste the grace
There’s rest for the weary
Rest that endures
Earth has no sorrow
That Heaven can’t cure

Come as you are
Fall in His arms, come as you are

There’s joy for the morning, Oh sinner be still
Earth has no sorrow that Heaven can’t heal
Earth has no sorrow that Heaven can’t heal.
-David Crowder

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One thought on “Strong Faith Equals Wet Feet

  1. Loved this! So true! I love your statement, “Strong faith equals wet feet.” Amen.

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