Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Reflections: Keeping Our Heads Above Water




Peter: "Jesus is that you? You are trippin' us out with this walking on water thing. If it's really you tell me to come out on the water with you."  
Jesus: "Bring it..."



     So, I am thinking this week about trust and doubt - and how those two things are related.  Continuing with the narrative of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew, we pick up the story after Jesus performs a miracle and helps the disciples feed the crowd with just five loaves and two fish.  After he sends everyone on their way Jesus directs the disciples to take the boat across the lake and Jesus climbs up the hill to be alone and pray. 

Read Matthew 14: 22-33. 

     We see Jesus in this story do, yet again, something amazing. The disciples are having trouble with the boat on the rough waters. They are scared and panicking when they see Jesus walking towards the boat ON THE WATER (which is hella weird and would cause me to flip out, too.)   Sidebar:  I've been thinking that perhaps Jesus at this moment was not trying to prove his awesomeness to the disciples but was just trying to take the fastest, easiest route to the boat. I mean, his is also fully human - and we humans are fans for taking short cuts. We know from the scriptures he is tired and craving alone time... but this is a digression for another time.
     Anyway, when Jesus gets near the boat, Peter calls him out and says (of course I am paraphrasing here) "Dude, if it's really you tell me to come out on the water, too."  And Jesus says "Bring it."  Peter brings it - but only for a few seconds because then he is freaked by the wind and starts to sink. He doubts, according to Jesus. But he also trusts - asking Jesus to help him stay afloat.

     So here's what I am thinking: Peter had to trust in Jesus to freely doubt. 

      We have to be able to trust in the people we that we choose to surround us.  We need people in our lives who will allow us to doubt, ask questions, and to take the time we need to figure things out.  We need to have people around us that can help pull us up when we just can't seem to keep our heads above water.  


Who are those people for you? 



When we are fearful, like the disciples in the boat, we need to let someone know.  I've been learning the hard way when I keep fear bottled up inside and not talk about it - it only gets worse.  This passage is a good reminder that we also need to be that support for those around us.  

We need to remind ourselves and those who we are supporting that God is always with us - when we are walking on water, when we have doubts, when we are afraid, and especially when we are sinking. 

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