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when our faith falters


Peter walked on water.

I see this story as a vivid depiction of the realities of walking by faith.

Think about it.

Peter wanted to be where Jesus was, and so he climbed out of the security of the boat and took his first step onto the water. And then, when the wind began to pick up speed, Peter lost sight of his Savior and began to sink. The distractions of the storm surrounding him pulled his focus off of the One who invited him out of the boat.

We either commend Peter for his leap of faith, or we chastise him for his lack of faith. But the truth is, we all have a little bit of Peter inside of us. We may be enthusiastic when Jesus invites us into a deeper relationship with him or when we take a step of obedience and surrender, but our faith also falters when the storms threaten to knock us off our feet. We, too, turn our eyes downward and into the mess of stress and loss and fear and “what if’s”. We are human, and our flesh gets the best of us at times.

When our faith falters- and it will- how are we going to respond?

We can either do what Peter did and cry out to Jesus, “Lord, save me!” Or we can sink to the bottom of a worrisome sea.

Those pressure-point-moments are moments where the true depth of our trust in God, in His goodness, and in the assurance of his sovereignty in our lives, manifests itself. There will be days when our gaze remains easily fixed on Jesus, and there will be days when the troubles of this life will pull our eyes away. The point of the story, I think, is not so much the faltering of faith, but rather Jesus’ response to Peter’s moment of weakness.

“After he cried out for help Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught Peter.”

When our faith falters, Jesus is there to catch us.

I had a faith-faltering moment this past week. I’m not going to lie; I have days when I question this water-walking call on my life. Sometimes the wind seems stronger than the hands that are holding me, and I worry about everything. And, yet, it is in those moments, those private hours before the sun rises on a new day, that the same Jesus, who immediately reached out his hand to catch Peter, reaches out his hand to catch me. And he reminds me to keep looking up.

Keep looking up to the One who invited me out of the boat.

Keep looking up to the One who then calms with wind and waves.

Keep looking up to the One who is still holding me even when my faith is faltering.

Keep looking up.

There is no guarantee that the journey before us will be an easy one. In fact, we are most assuredly promised challenge and difficulty. The threat of the waves will always be near. But Jesus is also very near. And Jesus, in those split second moments when our faith falters, will always be there with his hand extended, ready to pull us back to himself. In fact, he never stops holding us. His grip never loosens for one second. His presence is always with us.

And he will lead us to higher ground.

“From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” Psalm 61:2

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