It’s amazing how small one feels sitting next to the ocean. Your concerns tend to shrink a bit and perspective washes over you. As I watched the waves, I thought of Matthew 14: 27-32, when the disciples saw Christ walking on the sea. Christ did two things when he heard the fear/ concern amongst the disciples. One, He made His presence known. And two, He instructed them to not be afraid.
After Peter requested for Jesus to send for him upon the water, Jesus commanded for him to come. As soon as Peter sensed trouble amongst the waters, he panicked. Knowing that Jesus was right there, at arms length, Peter still panicked and began to sink.
Matthew 14: 27-32 : “But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased.”
Looking out at the ocean, I questioned if I would have trusted Christ enough to attempt to walk across the sea if he told me to come. How deep does my trust run? Is it surface level or is it oceans deep?
My first thought, if being completely honest, was nope. Too scared! And then I began to yearn to trust Christ enough to KNOW that I would bravely walk across the sea if He told me to come. Reading back over the story with Peter, the two words that came to mind were TRUST & FOCUS.
In order to walk out what God wants us to do, we must trust Him.
So to me, trust needs to be a no brainer. If I, referring to Peter, am asking Christ to bid me to come and walk on water, I must trust He is who He says He is, right? It seems to me that Peter didn’t fully trust Christ but he desired to. He said, “if it be thou”, meaning prove to me that it is you. Even though, Christ made His presence known, Peter needed proof. Side-note: I know Jesus was so tired of proving himself to these doubting people. Like, how many miracles must I do?! Sound Familiar? Lol
If we dig a little deeper, we find that trusting God is only a prerequisite. We must trust God but we must also keep our focus on Him. If we lose focus of Him, our trust can and more than likely, will be shaken. Peter got distracted by the crazy winds and lost focus of Jesus.
If we claim to know who Jesus is and believe Him to be a powerful miracle worker, then we know that He wasn’t going to let Peter drown. Peter’s focus became the wind and drowning, hence, he panicked and began to sink. I get it. The winds would have freaked me out too. But if we go through life, with ideas of grandeur, but focused on every negative possibility, we would drown in our own limitations.
God wants us to trust Him with our lives. He wants us to go deeper in Him, and as we go deeper, it requires us to keep our eyes focused on Him and Him alone. Distractions are not welcomed. After all, He is a jealous God.
What has distracted you from keeping your eyes on God?
Many of us are busy worrying about what others are doing and thinking — what others think of us in particular. We are consumed with the craziness of this world. We must stop this. As I like to say, we have stuff to do!
My time sitting along the beach, watching the waves violently crash along the beautiful California shoreline, I could just feel God calling me to not only trust Him, but to stay focused. Not on one of my many projects, or my to-do list, but to keep my eyes on Him. As I desire to go deeper, I must also keep my eyes above water. Meaning, don’t get distracted. Focusing with intent. Not concerning myself with the winds as Peter did in the scripture. Isaiah 26:3 tells us, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trust in thee.” Let us trust without limitation– oceans deep– and stay focused.
Jessica A. Brown