A gentle wind began to blow across the hillside. Multitudes of people sat at Jesus’s feet learning of God’s love. Their bellies were filled with fish and bread — a miracle from heaven — even when the disciples’ doubt tried to prevent the miracle. As darkness began to fall, Jesus sent the people on their way, and told the disciples to get in their boat and go before Him to the other side.
Can Doubt Prevent a Miracle?
Jesus, on the other hand, went up on the mountain by Himself to pray.
The wind began to blow harder. From His vantage point, Jesus could see the disciples on the sea struggling against the wind.
And He prayed.
He waited until about four in the morning to go to them, approaching the boat as He walked across the water. The disciples were afraid. They weren’t looking for Jesus in their situation. Jesus called out to them from the waves, “Take courage! It is I; do not be afraid.”
Peter, being the disciple with a million questions and serious issues with his flesh, shouted across the waves, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”
And Jesus said, “Come.”
Even a Person of Faith Can Wrestle With Doubt
I’m realizing that Peter wanted to embrace all that Jesus came to give. He believed Jesus was the Christ, but Peter also battled his flesh … a lot. Like many of us. He believed Jesus could do anything, but Peter was quick to respond impulsively, in the spur of the moment, and then when rubber met the road, his flesh would override his faith.
Peter climbed out of the boat and walked on the water to go to Jesus. Impossible! But he did it. Until …
Until his attention went to the gargantuan waves all about him as he battled the fierce wind.
Then he began to sink.
The wind and waves were hammering Peter when he first stepped out, but had no affect on him. It was after Peter took his eyes off Jesus and his focus became the impossible, that he began to sink.
Don’t we do the same?
And don’t we become so familiar with this Bible story that we tuck it safely away on a shelf in our heart, quote the “keep your eyes on Jesus” narrative, and then go on our merry way often secretly filled with doubt about an impending miracle?
I’m living this out loud right now and I’m praying that sharing my struggle will help both of us become overcomers.
A friend in my writing community, Lori Steele Altebaumer, wrote something profound about this passage of Scripture, “What waves am I measuring before I take the next — or even the first — step out of the boat? They are too numerous to mention, but what I understand from this is that it doesn’t matter how many there are or how big they are. I’m to keep my gaze on Christ alone.”
When we measure the waves or gauge the winds in our current storms, it only causes us to sink. I’m not saying we should deny the difficult situations that, in the flesh, make our miracles resonate with impossibilities.
I’m saying that the difficult situations are there whether we step out of the boat or stay sheltered beneath the helm. The only difference, is that if Jesus has called us to something, He will make a way, He will make the impossible possible, He will part the Red Sea and control the gargantuan waves so that we walk right across on dry land.
So simple, yet so hard.
Are You Secretly Filled With Doubt About an Impending Miracle?
This thing called flesh, not to mention the fiery darts carrying lies of the enemy, is not for the faint of heart. But God!
God gives us the tools to overcome the difficulties so we can fulfill the things He has called us to — things like bringing our thoughts captive to Christ, casting down all imaginations, quenching the fiery darts of the enemy with the Living Water of His Word.
Remember: the disciples were in the boat because they had obeyed Jesus when He told them to go to the other side of the sea. They were clearly in His will.
Yet a storm arose and threatened shipwreck.
Well, of course it did! Isn’t that just like life?
Jesus watches and intercedes for us as we obey His will and muster the courage to walk through doors only He could have opened. He commands the wind and the waves. He promises that when we pass through the waters, we will not drown because He will be with us.
The wind and waves are there whether we get out of the boat, or not.
But Jesus is there too. And He tells the waves and wind how far they can threaten us. And He tells them when to cease and desist.
Why should we let doubt win?
If God be for us, who can dare to be against us?
Thank you so much for stopping by. I would love for you to share what’s on your heart in the comments below. Scroll a little farther down and you’ll see where you can leave your comments. Together, we can find the nearness of God in our darkest moments.
Sweet blessings to you,