Read Matthew 14
Focus on verse 30-31
If you have been following these reading for any length of time, you may recall that I have often written of how what we focus on tends to be the point toward which we move. When I was first learning to drive I noticed how this affected the path of the vehicle I was driving. When I would turn my head or avert my eyes to focus on something to the left of the road – wouldn’t you know it – the car would drift toward the left. If I look to the right the car would begin moving to the right. As I became more experienced in driving I learned to compensate for this tendency, but it is still there, and the best way to avoid it is to keep my focus on the road ahead of me.
The same tendency is true of our attitudes, our emotions, pretty much every area of our lives – that which we focus upon tends to be that which we begin to move toward.
In today’s reading we find the account of the miracle of Jesus walking on the water of the Sea of Galilee. At first the disciples, who were in a boat, were afraid, but when they recognized Him, Peter called out for Him to command that Peter should come out of the boat to walk with Jesus on the sea. When Jesus said, “Come”, Peter stepped out of the boat and walked toward Him.
But when he (Peter) saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, Lord, save me. Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” (v. 30-31)
It seems that the moment Peter took his focus off of Jesus and began to focus on the wind and the waves, he began to sink. There is an implication here for those of us who follow Jesus. When He calls us to attempt to “walk on the water” of our morally confused and turbulent culture, we will notice that we tend to do alright so long as we keep our focus fixed on Jesus. I have found from experience that it doesn’t take long for me to begin to sink when I begin to focus on the wind and waves of popular opinion and cultural drift.
It is at these times when the Holy Spirit gently chides me with the words, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” One of my weaknesses is culture and politics. When I allow myself to get caught up in these discussions, which ultimately solve little but divide much, these are the times when I feel myself sink. On the other hand when I am able to keep my focus on Jesus, even in the midst of such a discussion He is able to keep me from sinking in the stormy swells that rage around me screaming for my attention.