"Faith Requires Risk" July 27, 2022
Scripture to ready today: Matthew 14:22-36
Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
When my son was learning to swim there was a time when he had all that it took to be able to swim except for the faith that he could do it.
He had all the skills – the scoops, the kicks, the breath-holding. And when he was just playing in the water not thinking about it, he would swim with passable efficiency. But the moment his attention was focused on swimming he was convinced that he was incapable of overcoming the obstacles.
I would tell him that he could swim, I had seen him do it. And yet he did not believe me. He did not have confidence in what he himself had previously accomplished. When he was aware of the threats, he became fearful and unwilling to take the risk.
Peter doubted even as he himself was walking on the water. In boldness, even impulsiveness, he stepped out of the boat and experienced the miraculous. As he walked to Jesus his capricious mind was drawn to what was happening. It was unbelievable. And the wind and waves… what if they knock him into the water? Perhaps Jesus hadn’t accounted for the waves, or what if a gust came that Jesus didn’t expect?
And like that, he was undone. Not forever undone, but for that moment he had to be rescued again by Jesus.
Seeing and experiencing is helpful perhaps, but they are no guarantees of faith. Faith is a choice. Specifically, a choice to risk. It is a choice to trust God, to surrender the what-ifs, and to trust that God’s attention and His power far exceed our own. He has our best interest in mind – even when all we see around us are threats and obstacles, we can trust that He sees them too. It is His prerogative and within His purview to decide if or when to quiet the storm and when to let it rage and call us to deeper faith, to greater risk and trust.
Peter’s faith in Christ failed even as it soared. Still, Christ in His kindness did not reprimand or condemn, He only asked, “Why did you doubt?” Surely it was a question posed for Peter’s benefit.
What is the root of your doubt – a lack of understanding, control, distrust in his goodness, fear? What would it look like to chose to trust him in this area of doubt?