Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Matthew 14: All in a Day's Work

Verses 22 to 33 tell a strange story - Jesus puts the disciples in a boat and sends them to the other side of the lake while he goes off to pray.  The disciples must have been talking about feeding the 5,000 and feeling pretty on top of the world at that point.  A wind comes up and the boat is buffeted back and forth in the waves.  Progress is slow. Then comes Jesus, walking on the water, which basically freaks them out (one translations says, "They began to scream from fear" - big burly fishermen that they were...)  Jesus tells them not to fear; it's him.  Peter suddenly says, "If it's you, then tell me to come on the water."  Jesus invites him, and for a brief moment Peter walks on water.  But fear and unbelief get the better of him, he begans to sink, and Jesus has to save him and put him back in the boat (the story comes full circle?).  As soon as they get back into the boat, the wind dies down, and they realise that Jesus is the Son of God.

This whole "walking on water" business is hard for me to grasp.  I don't know if it's because I grew up in a church that relegated miracles to the annals of history, if it's because I'm too concrete and logical, or it's because I have never seen such a miracle and lack faith.  I do like to know things from experience, or at least be able to explain how they might be possible... and I can't with this story. But let's leave that thought where it is.

What I love about this passage is the following:  Peter went through just about every possible emotion in the course of one day - elation, frustration, terror, bravado, doubt, fear, humiliation, confusion and awe.  What a day!

The humanness of Peter - screaming like a sissy one moment and daring Jesus to give him superpowers the next - makes me smile and somehow encourages me tremendously.  We're all a little bit like Peter, aren't we?  Boastful and on top of the world one moment and running to our mommies the next, licking our wounds.  We're human, in other words.  Flawed but beautiful, full of emotions and life.

Some days are like that. It's okay.  Embrace the moment and the emotion, because Jesus is right there, loving and laughing and crying with you... and that is a miracle in which I can easily believe.


Melanie said...

Oh my friend, if you knew how many days have been just like that lately! Thanks for the encouragement friend, I don't always leave a note, but I always leave your blog blessed!

Anna said...

Thank you. Your encouragement blesses me right back!