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?”
We probably aren’t supposed to have favorite disciples…but I do. It’s Peter. I like Peter because he did some really bold things, but he messed up a lot, too – kind of like me. I love this account of Jesus calling Peter to walk out on the water to Him. Peter didn’t hesitate. When Peter stepped out of the boat, he completely let go of what he thought was safe in order to step forward in faith. He didn’t keep his hand on the side of the boat… just in case. When Peter got out of the boat, he actually walked on the water! What an amazing experience that must have been! But if that experience was as life changing as I imagine it to be, why did he start to sink? How is that even possible? Peter was physically in the middle of experiencing the power of God and he let his fears and doubt distract him. Peter’s focus changed. He took notice of everything that was going on around him. The wind scared him and it caused him to be filled with fear. Simply put, Peter took his eyes off Jesus.
In my mind, I want to say, “Sheesh, Peter! Jesus is right there!” But then I remember how easily distracted by my own fears I can get, and I realize Peter and I are more alike than I would like to admit. If you are anything like I am, it is safe to say that we sometimes allow the smallest things to take our thoughts captive and drive us into doubt. One minute we are in the middle of the amazing plan God has for our lives and the next we find ourselves sinking fast in doubt and worry. All because we took our eyes off Jesus.
What fear has distracted you, caused you to doubt and take your focus off Jesus? Refocus on Him today and let God take care of your doubt and fear.