July 3, 2008
Surviving the Toss
Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
Matthew 14:31 (NIV)
Poor little earthworm. One minute he was squirming around in his grassy home, but when the storm hit, the strong rains tossed him out of his comfortable environment onto the hard, hot road. Have you ever noticed how many earthworms are scattered across roads after a storm? They never live long afterwards. Once the harsh sun beats down and they can’t find their way back to the moist soil, they’re done.
Poor little jellyfish. One minute she was floating in the warm ocean waters without a care in the world, but when a sudden storm hit, the crashing waves tossed her onto the dry sand. Have you ever noticed how many helpless jellyfish are lying on the beach after a storm, with no hope of getting back to the water?
Have you ever felt like that poor little earthworm or jellyfish? Life was going along just fine… then one phone call, one bad decision, one major storm in your life … and you get tossed into a situation where you struggle to keep yourself together. At times, storms rage into our lives without warning, and we can find ourselves sinking into despair. Yet unlike the earthworm or the jellyfish, we have hope for survival. We have a Savior who promises to be our life raft in even the worst of storms, but we have to choose to grab onto that raft and look straight into the eyes of Jesus.
Today’s verse is taken from the story where Peter amazingly walks on water. The disciples’ boat was being tossed about by huge waves in the ocean. Feeling certain that death was imminent, they were unaware of Jesus walking on water towards their boat. Although at first they thought He was a ghost, they were greatly relieved when they realized it was Jesus. In fact, Peter was so amazed, he said, "Lord, if it's you, tell me to come to you on the water,” so Jesus invited him to step out into the sea. (Matthew 14:28-29). But we learn in verses 29-30, Peter took his eyes off Jesus. It says, “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!"
Notice Peter did not begin to sink until he took his eyes off Jesus and began focusing on the wind and waves around him. In the same way, when we take our eyes off Jesus during our storms, and doubt His power in our life, we begin to sink as well. We can feel as if we are drowning in our problems, unable to get back onto safe ground. However when we cry out to Jesus, as Peter did, He will catch us by the hand and raise us back up. It is also important to notice that Peter started out with the best intentions when He called to Jesus. It took great faith for him to believe a human could walk on water, however, his great faith faltered when doubt and fear entered his mind. But even in fear, Peter cried out to Jesus. He still knew He was the only one who could help him, and Jesus saved Him.
Maybe you feel as if you have been tossed about by a storm today, and if you do, cry out to Jesus. He will hear you. He will calm your fears. He will raise you up. He wants you to be aware of His presence, even if you do not recognize Him at first.
After Jesus saved Peter from sinking into the water, they got back into the boat and the storm ceased. Although the storms of our life may not cease immediately when we cry out to Jesus, we can have faith knowing He is there to rescue us. And that gives us the strength and courage to survive the toss.
Dear Lord, thank You for always being there for me. Help me to be aware of Your presence during my storms. Forgive me for my doubts and lack of faith and help me to learn to trust in You fully. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Visit Tracie Miles’ blog
Ask God to make His presence known during your storms in ways that you will recognize Him at work.
Make a commitment to trust God despite your doubts and fears.
Is my faith strong during easy times, but weak during difficult times due to doubt and fear?
Am I truly willing to trust in Jesus during challenging circumstances?
Jeremiah 17:7, “But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him.”
© 2008 by Tracie Miles. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
Matthews, NC 28105