25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.
27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
29 “Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
I’ve been thinking a lot about Peter lately. To be fair, Peter and I – we don’t really have much in common. I’ve never really identified with the brash, emotional ear-slicing antics of Peter. The whole attempting-to-walk-on-water bit is just another example of something I would probably never do. And I always imagined that Peter’s faltering demonstrated a lack of faith in Jesus. In a Nooma video, Rob Bell describes a different scenario. With Jesus as the Rabbi Peter followed, the idea is that he (Peter) be able to do what Jesus does. Thus, when they happen across Jesus walking on water, Peter feels that he needs to be able to do that, as well. So, it’s not a rash decision, it’s an attempt to be like his teacher. I can respect that.
But then he begins to sink. Here is where my perspective has been shifted; Peter doesn’t doubt Jesus, but his own ability to do what his Rabbi does. And that? That I can understand. So much of what I do – in life, in faith – is enveloped by doubt in my ability to be/do anything worthwhile. I constantly question whether the decisions I make are the *right* decisions, whether others see my actions as proper, wise, kind, acceptable. When I try to follow in the footsteps of Jesus I always fail; I am beginning to realize that my failure can be attributed in my lack of faith – not in Jesus, but in myself.
So I’m thinking that I need to take a page out of Peter’s book. To unabashedly throw myself into following my Lord with confidence, knowing that I have been made in His image and he wants me – warts and all.