When Faith Falters

Read Matthew 14:22-33

Jesus had “constrained” His disciples to cross the sea in a boat assuring them that He would catch up with them.  He had, with the disciples, fed thousands of hungry folks, having taught them and having healed many of their sick.  He was exhausted and needed to retreat into a mountain place to rest and pray.

The disciples, before reaching the other side of the sea, were suddenly overwhelmed by a tempestuous storm of the variety that often comes upon seamen in bodies of water in that part of the world.  These sailors, because of the boisterous storm, felt their lives were in jeopardy.  Then something happened they could not have believed had they not experienced it personally.  They saw someone walking on the sea!  And that someone looked like, yes, was, Jesus!  The Lord called out to them, “Be of good cheer, it is I, be not afraid.”  Peter said that if it was indeed Jesus, he wanted to walk with Him, and to that Jesus simply said, “Come.”  All went well for a brief time until Peter “saw the wind,” and taking his eyes off Jesus began to sink, hollering as he went down, “Lord, save me!”  Jesus did save him and getting into the boat calmed the storm, asking the disciples, “O thou of little faith, wherefore did you doubt?”

Why do you doubt?  When do we “look at the wind” and begin to faint?  In the coronavirus pandemic of 2020 that swept every continent but Antarctica, people all over the world, including followers of the risen Lord, began to focus on the “wind,” i.e. the dire circumstances, the daily rising number of deaths, the bleak economic downturn of once robust economies.  The question that Jesus raised when He said, “O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?” still rings through the halls of time.  When we abandon our faith, all that is left is fear.  The result was that the disciples worshipped Jesus confessing anew “Thou art the Son of God.”  May we do likewise.

When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee…For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Savior….” (Isaiah 43:2,3)

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