Meanwhile the boat, already a few miles offshore, was being tossed about by the waves, for the wind was against it.Matthew 14:24
In praying for peace yesterday, this scene from the Gospel of Matthew came to mind. A storm is chaos. It signifies helplessness. We struggle to control the situation, but spending all our strength only reminds us how weak we are.
During the fourth watch of the night, he came toward them, walking on the sea. When the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified. “It is a ghost,” they said, and they cried out in fear.Matthew 14:25-27
At once Jesus spoke to them, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”
The Lord comes to us in our worst fears. He seems to bring only more. Our weakness shows us we lack Him. Anything we fear points us to God.
But can we believe when He says, “It is I”? Can we reclaim our courage, being reminded that God is in charge of everything? Can we trust?
Peter said to him in reply, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.”Matthew 14:28-29
He said, “Come.”
Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus.
At the Lord’s command, we have a moment of courage. We challenge ourselves to have faith, to ask God’s care in something beyond our abilities.
But when he saw how strong the wind was he became frightened; and, beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!”Matthew 14:30-33
Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
After they got into the boat, the wind died down. Those who were in the boat did him homage, saying, “Truly, you are the Son of God.”
What went wrong? Peter took his eyes off of Jesus. Why did he need to look at the storm? Why did he remember what he was doing? The only thing that mattered was Jesus, the loving face towards which he was drawn.
God will always catch us when we fall. He desires more faith, more trust in His power and goodness. But He knows our weakness, and He will save us.
After making the crossing, they came to land at Gennesaret. When the men of that place recognized him, they sent word to all the surrounding country. People brought to him all those who were sick and begged him that they might touch only the tassel on his cloak, and as many as touched it were healed.Matthew 14:34-36
I didn’t remember this happy final piece of Matthew 14. It seems to speak to our current storm. Let us, too, recognize Jesus, and spread hope in His Name to those around us. Let us beg that our sick might touch the tassel on the Lord’s cloak. And let us have faith that as many as touch it will be healed, in body and soul.