In my last entry about Peter, I mentioned that there were two things that struck me. First was the fact that Peter got out of the boat, and the second is the reason he began to sink. Pete was doing fine when he started, but it didn’t take him long to realize what he had gotten himself into. He took a good look at the storm, began to fear, and once fear took hold, he began to drown.
I can completely relate. It’s easy for me to begin in faith, but when things get difficult, I’m quick to reconsider. I start looking at the challenges and letting them have my attention, and before long, I’m in over my head. This is why this story speaks to me. Peter begins with his focus fixed on Jesus and that convinces him he can do something impossible. When he turns his attention toward what’s going on around him, doing the impossible becomes easy to ignore.
I’ve had so many days like this! I’ve heard the voice of the Lord, set my mind to move in His direction and immediately stumbled when circumstances overwhelmed me. It’s not that I don’t know better, but sometimes it’s just easier to take my eyes off of Jesus and pay more attention to the storm. I just want the storm to stop, and somehow, I convince myself that being obsessed with stopping the storm actually works (but it doesn’t!).
Here’s something I’ve learned about life: storms will come! Here’s something else I’ve learned from studying this passage: focusing on Jesus might not make the storm go away! I think that’s crucial to point out. There was a storm while Peter was in the boat, there was still a storm when Peter spoke to Jesus, there was still a storm when Peter started moving toward Jesus and the storm was still there when Peter took His eyes off Him. This is major. I have to know that even if focusing on Jesus doesn’t stop the storm, it keeps me moving in the right direction. Focusing on the storm won’t stop the storm either. It will, however, cause me to fear, prevent me from seeing Jesus and eventually cause me to sink.
I can’t say it enough, if mama ain’t focused on Jesus, life will be a mess. And it’s not enough to just think about Him, the only way to really see Him is to dig deep into His Word. This is our advantage, and what sets us apart from ordinary mamas. Keep this basic truth in mind the next time you face trouble: if your eyes are on the storm you will grow in fear, but if your eyes are on Jesus (and in His Word), you’ll grow in faith. I’m one mama who is convinced this is true and I’m glad you’ve joined me on this journey and if you’re challenged by any of this, meditate on these two verses this week: Isaiah 26:3 and Hebrews 12:2.
This post first appeared on If Mama Ain’t June 7, 2009.