Okay, so we probably all remember the story from Matt. 14:23-36 where Jesus is walking on the water on the way out to the disciples in the boat. Peter gets out of the boat to walk to Jesus on the water. At first all is well, then he begins to sink.
I've always heard two themes developed in sermons surrounding this story. The first and most prevalent, that when Peter took His eyes off of Jesus, and focused on the rough waves is the point at which he started to sink. A very good lesson in this. If we want to walk through the storms of life, we must keep our eyes upon Jesus. How do we do that? Reading the Bible and reflecting upon what we read. Spending time in prayer and meditation. Harkening to the Holy Spirits voice and leadership.
Now the second, lesser developed theme I've heard is that when Peter became aware of the circumstances around him he started to fear. Fear lends itself to doubt. We should never doubt our Lord's love for us. And the most oft repeated command from the lips of Jesus is "do not fear." We must trust him. We should rest in that trust of his love and power.
But last night as I came through the living room to cut the TV off, there was the end of the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Sally Field was a guest. And also some scientific fellow with a collection of bugs. He was just finishing up his segment. Had apparently showed a bug that could walk across the water. Was telling how scientifically it is surface tension that allows this. Then he began a demonstration with a trough filled with custard. Barefooted, he quickly walked across the top of the custard. Then Jay and even Sally followed. Science man then gets back in the custard. He walks, and even jumps on the custard!! He stays on the surface through all of that. BUT, as soon as he stood still his feet sank to the bottom of the trough. And it had quite a hold on him, too.
And immediately, I saw another theme in this wonderful story. Peter froze in fear when he saw the waves. He stopped moving. Stopped going forward. If we feel as if we are sinking, drowning in troubles and woes perhaps we have become immobile. We must keep moving! Yes, the word says to "be still and know that I am God." But that is referring to a quiet trust. A spiritual and mental stop. We should always continue to grow in the Lord. We should always continue to do the things that we know are things to do: trust, love, learn, care, minister, worship, give, etc. Following Jesus requires movement.