Good day friends! I pray your week and weekend went well!
Readings for Aug 9, 2020; Tenth Sunday after Pentecost
Job 38:4-18; Psalm 18:1-9; Romans 10:5-17; Matthew 14: 22-33
Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. 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?” Matthew 14:25-31
Seriously… WHY DO WE DOUBT GOD?
We can see over and over and over again in scripture and in our own lives how God is always present and faithful, so why do we doubt him? We read about the Israelites in the Old Testament and can easily judge them for their lack of faith. Then we see in the above passage how Peter, with Christ right in front of him, begins to doubt due to the storm around him. Peter took his eyes off the Lord and let his surrounding circumstances take precedence over Christ’s ability and faithfulness. Oh, Peter!? Oh, Israelites!? O you of little faith, why did you doubt?
But are we any different? Oh no, don’t fool yourself. No, we are no different, not at all! Do we stand firm with our eyes focused on him when the least bit of a storm enters our life? Or do we see the pain and unknown and danger all around us and begin to sink? Do we feel we need to know all the whys of this sinful world, before we will believe, as if God owes us an explanation? If so, stop! Stop looking around. Look straight into the eyes and heart of Jesus. Go to him. You don’t need to see him for him to be with you. Like the Centurion, all Jesus has to do is give the command and it is accomplished. Do you question why such terrible things are going on in the world, with creation and other precious, innocent souls? You’re not alone. I do too. But these things are unfortunately no surprise, because the depth of sin in humankind reaches to our core. Oh they most certainly cause great anguish in us.
Does God desire such actions and treatment of his beloved by his beloved? Absolutely not. But it is the result of a sin-filled, dying world. Are we surprised that “every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time” (Genesis 6:5)? We shouldn’t be because God told us that is what sin has done to humankind. He also told us it grieves him as well. But that doesn’t mean he has left us. In fact on the contrary, despite what may come our way, God has taken care of our ultimate outcome through Christ’s death and resurrection that “after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God” (Job 19:26) But, it is seeing how these sinful inclinations are exhibited throughout the world, through the events of nature as described as the end times, and through the storms of our own lives, that we become like the Israelites, like Peter. We take our eyes off Jesus, and let the worry and fear, sadness and pain pull us down and away from the Lord. Don’t let it. Face the Lord. Call out for help, just as Peter did. But do not be drawn down into its depths, to be swallowed up. Don’t let Satan win. For just as Christ reached down to Peter when he called, so he will reach down to you.
We can’t know why things are the way they are. We don’t know why God allows some people, especially children to be victims at the hands of others. We may not understand why we have the storms in our own lives. But in all things, we must stay focussed on the one who does know. The one who will get us through. And we can let him use us to be his instruments of change, the tools of love that saves, protects, and loves one wounded and lost soul at a time, even in the midst of our own storms. So don’t take your eyes off Jesus. Don’t doubt. Grab on to him. Then reach out and let him use you to be his saving grasp on others who are drowning.
Prayer: Dear Lord, help me stay focussed on you so that “My eyes are ever on [you], for only [you] will release my feet from the snare.” (Psalm 25:15) There are so many storms around me and that I see happening to others in this world. Be with each and every soul. Make your presence, peace, and love known in each life that is hurting, every victim. Let them know of your salvation so that even in the end their eyes can be fixed on you and the inheritance you have waiting for them. Help me stay focussed on you. Help me Lord. Help us all. In Jesus’ name. AMEN!