Faith tossed in perfect storm!

“Thou has such little faith, why did you doubt?”

Can you walk on water?

Yes, you and I can walk on water too, and it does not take rocket science to prove it. It isn’t difficult to get out of the boat and step on water, and walk the distance to reach out to the man who stands waiting for you with his arms wide open. The challenge is to cover the distance, from the boat, to the man named ’Jesus’.

In revisiting the passage, from the Gospel of Matthew which I call “Faith tossed in perfect storm”, Jesus made the disciples get in the boat, and asked them to go ahead to the other side of the lake. When the boat was far and out in the lake tossed about by the waves, because the wind was blowing against it. At 3 am at night Jesus came walking on water, this spectacular miracle was witnessed by all the apostles, but rather than being excited to witness the miracle, their first reaction was fear. Until our Blessed Savior said, “It is I, do not be afraid”

The disciples response to seeing Jesus is fear and biblical theophany (theophany is a visible manifestation of God to humankind) often provokes fear, because people behold God’s awesome, overwhelming magnificence (Exodus 3:6, 20:18). Jesus exhorts them, “Do not be afraid, and the reassurance not to fear, is often the first thing spoken to human beings in a theophany (Genesis 15:1, 26:24, Dan 10:11-12, Revelations 1:17). Jesus identifying himself with “I am” and walking on the sea is an illusion to Job, which describes “Yahweh – who walks upon the sea”. (Job 9:8)

Peter who seemed to us like the head of the group, in his enthusiasm, wanted to step out and walk up to Jesus. He stepped out of the boat on to the water, and began to walk. As long as Peter kept his focus on Jesus, he was walking on water effortlessly, and this liquid element did not bother him at all, but the moment he lost his focus from Christ, and looks at the strong gusty winds and waves curling up, his weak mind made him loose confidence and hence his faith began to sink with his body.

In life, how often we desire and are determined to walk in the way of the Lord. We take the initial steps to get out of the boat and step on water, and we do just fine as long as our focus is fixed on Jesus, but the many storms of life weaken our faith and we loose confidence, turning our thoughts on ourselves and on our weakness, and the violence of these storms make us loose focus from Jesus to ourselves, therefore it is not the weight of the body that compels us to sink, but the weight of our sin, which begins to sink with our body.

Our Blessed Savior walks on water to reveal his sinlessness, it is because he is entirely free from the weight of sin that he can stride safely across the sea without drowning. Remember he call us to be like him….

We too have our hearts doubtful at times, when we think that our plans are better than God’s own plan for us. And just like Peter, our faith too is tested! But also, just like Peter, he raises us out of doubt, to bring us to his embrace.

Now Peter who is known to be a good swimmer, calls on to our Lord, and our Blessed Lord does not leave him there to drown as a punishment, rather he reaches out to him, and grabs hold of him. Artist around the world have captured this moment on canvas, they have beautifully portrayed the strength, with which our Blessed Lord holds Peter, without allowing him to drown.

When we drown in our human weakness, and call out to the Lord to help us, to save us, our Blessed Savior with all his strength pulls us out. The question is : Are you willing to hold his hand?

How often our faith is tossed in the perfect storm of life, not realizing that Jesus is standing in that storm, and calling out to us, to have incredible faith and to help us walk on water.

Can we ever cover the distance from the boat, to where Jesus is standing without getting drowned?

Our Blessed Lord continues to call us to walk on waters in stormy winds and waves, it is only through faith and sinlessness that we can walk on waters towards Jesus! He continues to call us, but the sound of the wind and waves, drown out his voice…

Are you listening?

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