May 18, 2012

Changed Focus

Matthew 14:22-33

Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
—Matt. 14:29-30


I always feel bad for Peter when I read the story of his water-walking adventure. After seeing Jesus on the water, Peter proceeded to do something that most people would never dream possible. He walked on water! But when the wind distracted him, Peter got nervous and started sinking.

Did Peter do anything bad? In similar circumstances, I would be afraid too. I think Peter had a great deal of faith to merely step out of the boat. The other disciples did not venture out, and yet they were not scolded. Peter, however, was scolded for having “little faith.”

But Jesus was scolding Peter mainly for letting himself get distracted. Peter had a moment of extreme trust, but he forgot about Christ’s power as he noticed other forces surrounding him. He didn’t realize that the Lord who could empower him to walk on water could also keep him above water as the stormy wind and waves churned around him.

Peter had the faith to get out of the boat, but it was “little faith”—too easily distracted.

Walking with God means not only that we will trust him to do amazing things through us but also that we will maintain our focus on him when distractions rise up around us.

Lord Jesus, I confess that I am easily distracted and often worried by circumstances in my life. Help me to remember and trust in your power to sustain and rescue me. Amen.

About the author — Bill Sytsma

Bill Sytsma is a graduate of Calvin Theological Seminary (M.Div) and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (D.Min). He is the author of the book Follow the Leader and is serving as the pastor of New Life Christian Reformed Church in Highland, Indiana. He and his wife, Staci, have hosted support groups for families built through adoption. He and Staci are the proud parents of three active boys: Luke, Isaac, and Nico.

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