Do Our Doubts Get the Final Word?

“Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat by this time was a long way from the land, beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them. And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, ‘It is a ghost!’ and they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.’ And Peter answered him, ‘Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.’ He said, ‘Come.’ So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, ‘Lord, save me.’ Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, ‘O you of little faith, why did you doubt?’ And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, ‘Truly you are the Son of God.’ Matthew 14:22-33

This has been one of my favorite passages of scripture for as long as I can remember. I love that we see Jesus as supernatural in this moment- for a lot of us, that word seems a little eerie, like it should be in an alien movie or something. But I think it really just means that God works outside of the laws of nature He set up for us- what a relief!

God isn’t limited by human ability. Let that soak in. God can do things we could never dream of doing as human beings- like walk on water! If He can do that, how much more can He do outside of our realm of understanding?

Ephesians tells us that He can do more than we could ever ask or imagine; what an incredible promise of God. That means that there are things that are outside the realm of possibility of our tiny little human brains to come up with that God has planned for us and that He will do.

That means that when we think we are stuck in a hard place between option A and option B God has an incredible option C waiting somewhere behind the curtain that we couldn’t possibly come up with on our own accord. And to think we are worthy of the love of a God of this magnitude! But God doesn’t stop there- He doesn’t just walk on the waters Himself but invites us into this life of adventure with Him- all we have to do is trust.

I also love this passage because I think we have all been where Peter has been. In moments of great faith we cry out to God for Him to show up, to come and do the impossible, to call us out onto the waters. We pray and beg for Him to do supernatural amazing things in our lives because we believe God is who He has told us He is.

Then, it always seems to go for us as it did for Peter. Just as soon as God gives us the desires of heart and welcomes us into an incredible story that wouldn’t be possible without Him- we panic! And we begin to sink.

It is Peter’s doubt that causes him to begin to sink, and it’s often our own doubt that leaves us feeling overwhelmed and like all hope is lost in the middle of an incredible opportunity with Jesus. As soon as the first wave begins to rise, we panic, and it’s as if we have forgotten God has given us the thing we have been begging for all along.

The beauty of this story is that Peter’s doubt isn’t the end of the story. He doesn’t sink into the waves and is taken away by the storm. Jesus reaches out His hand and catches Peter. Neither the storm nor Peter’s doubt had the final say over Peter’s life- Jesus did. In our moments of doubt and fear we just have to reach out for Jesus. He catches us every times.

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