9-28-09 Devotion: The Waves of Distraction

It took a whole lot of faith for Peter to believe he could walk on water. Brave, bold, trailblazing Peter didn’t even seem to hesitate when Jesus said, “Come.” Peter stepped out of the boat, into the water, and started walking toward the Lord.

But somewhere between the boat and Jesus, Peter got distracted. The howling wind was blowing all around him, and the waves were churning underneath his feet. Peter got panicked. Fearful thoughts assaulted his mind like shots being fired at a target. Then, before he knew it, he was no longer on top of the water but sinking down into it. When Peter cried out, “Lord, save me,” Jesus didn’t hesitate. He immediately reached out his hand and caught him. As soon as Jesus and Peter climbed into the boat, the wind died down.

When we read this story, it’s easy for us to come down hard on Peter and ask, “What got into you?”

Fear and doubt did, that’s what. The wind and the waves had been there all along, but they didn’t affect him because he was looking at the Lord. Once he began focusing on his circumstances, though, Peter’s faith began to falter.

Don’t we do the same thing? God gives us a promise from His Word, and we step out into the unknown, believing He will give us guide us. We walk straight ahead, not looking to the right or to the left, with our eyes on Jesus. Then, something happens. Perhaps we have a bad day, or we don’t spend time in the Word. We start looking at our circumstances and wonder where God is. The enemy whispers to us, and instead of rejecting his lies, we embrace them. Seeds of doubt are planted in our hearts and minds. We question God’s goodness, and before we know it, we are sinking deep in discouragement and despair.

And, lovingly but firmly, Jesus reaches into our situation and rescues us. He doesn’t chastise or punish but simply asks, “Why did you doubt?”

God is faithful, and His Word is always true. Not one of His promises has ever failed. Even when the storms rage against us, we can rest in His peace. We can walk in confidence knowing that the Lord is right beside us, showing us the way to go.

Be like Peter…but don’t be like Peter. Have enough faith to step into the water and trust the Lord to bring about what He has promised in your life. But, don’t let the wind and waves distract you, and don’t look back at the boat. Fix your eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of your faith. He has great plans in store for you, but first you’ve got to get out of the boat. And, then, as you put your feet into the water, look up, and see your Lord right in front of you. He is inviting you to come, to trust Him to help you do what you cannot do on your own. And, before you know it, you’ll have your own story of walking on water. But, unlike our friend Peter, you will make it all the way.