Tough times come to everyone. They come in all shapes and sizes, and according to James, we should "count it all joy" when they come.
Where we look and where or in whom we place our trust makes all the difference in the world.
In Matthew 14, the disciples were in the boat on the water without Jesus. He had sent them ahead while he sent the multitudes away (Matthew 14:22). However, during the night the water became very rough as they were tossed by waves, "for the wind was contrary" (v. 24).
I notice that Jesus waited until the 4th watch of the night (b/w 3 AM and 6 AM) to go out to their boat. (He did not go running out on the water at the sign of the first big wave.) When He does arrive "walking on the sea," the disciples were afraid because they did not recognize Him. Instead, we see they have mistaken Him for a ghost!
When Jesus spoke, it must have been music to their ears!
"Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid" (Matthew 14:28)!
Of course, it is Peter who immediately responds to the Lord, asking to be called out to Him. Jesus responds with a "Come!"
Many of us know what happens next. Peter is miraculously walking on water with the Lord Jesus Christ, but as soon as he takes his eyes off the Lord and focuses on his circumstances and surroundings, he begins to sink.
Christians through the ages have learned so much from Peter's mistakes. But what grabs my attention this time is found after Jesus saves Peter and after the 2 climb into the boat.
"And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. Then those who were in the boat came and worshipped Him, saying, 'Truly You are the Son of God'" (Matthew 14:33).
We know that we should always keep our eyes on Christ, even when the waves are rising around us. But do we think about how those still in the boat are watching?
Those other 11 disciples were watching and waiting to see what would happen! Notice not one of them followed Peter. They waited to see what would happen to him and what Jesus would do. Even when Peter failed, there is no indication that they criticized him or laughed at him. The entire incident brought glory to Christ! They worshipped Jesus and acknowledged Him as the Son of God!
In my own daily struggles or even when tragic circumstances arise, I pray I can remember not only to keep my eyes on Jesus but also that others are still in the boat. My desire is that I will focus on the Lord and bring Him glory (whether I am walking on the waves with Him or sinking and crying out for His help).
It's all about Him anyway!!!
In the Heart of our Home,