Yesterday in worship we reflected on this passage from Matthew where Jesus calms the storm and walks on water . . . . Matthew includes an additional part to the story . . . . Matthew shares that Peter, too, walks on the water.
This week our devotions will reflect on some of the phrases from that passage.
Take a brief read of the words from Matthew:
Matthew 14: 22-23 As soon as the meal was finished, he(Jesus) insisted that the disciples get in the boat and go on ahead to the other side while he dismissed the people. With the crowd dispersed, he climbed the mountain so he could be by himself and pray. He stayed there alone, late into the night.
24-26 Meanwhile, the boat was far out to sea when the wind came up against them and they were battered by the waves. At about four o’clock in the morning, Jesus came toward them walking on the water. They were scared out of their wits. “A ghost!” they said, crying out in terror.
27 But Jesus was quick to comfort them. “Courage, it’s me. Don’t be afraid.”
28 Peter, suddenly bold, said, “Master, if it’s really you, call me to come to you on the water.”
29-30 He said, “Come ahead.”
Jumping out of the boat, Peter walked on the water to Jesus. But when he looked down at the waves churning beneath his feet, he lost his nerve and started to sink. He cried, “Master, save me!”
31 Jesus didn’t hesitate. He reached down and grabbed his hand. Then he said, “Faint-heart, what got into you?”
32-33 The two of them climbed into the boat, and the wind died down. The disciples in the boat, having watched the whole thing, worshiped Jesus, saying, “This is it! You are God’s Son for sure!”
When they first saw Jesus they thought he was a ghost, but Jesus was “quick to comfort them.” He calls out to them . . . “Courage!”
Courage. The ability to do something that frightens someone.
Courage. Strength in the face of pain and grief.
That call to have courage that stems from a power greater than ourselves was not new only to Peter. That same call was/is evidenced in Scripture repeatedly and that same call is there for us today.
There are so many situations in our existence that require us to have great courage:
- Facing new circumstances in our professional and/or personal lives.
- Facing health challenges that we’d prefer not to be our reality.
- Facing pain in the lives of the people we hold most dear, wanting to make it better but knowing we can’t.
- Facing unchartered waters in our lives and not knowing the best path to take.
- Facing the fact that sometimes things can’t be “planned” and the future is filled with uncertainty.
The interesting thing to note is that Jesus didn’t just say, “Courage” and then expect them to have it . . . he also reminded them that he was there to provide them the source of the courage.
“Courage. It’s me.”
God helps us have people in our lives that represent God in that manner . . .
“Courage . . . it’s me. You don’t have to be afraid. I’ve got your back.”
Who are some of those people for you today?
We also have that presence that abides deep within us that we can rely on, far beyond any way that can rely on other “people.”
God is in us . . . God is for us.
It is God that finally and forever convinces us and assures us that we are ok AND ultimately, ALL will be WELL!
Embrace it. Take courage!
Thanks be to God.