Jesus feels the cold water swirling at his feet and takes one step after another. He is lashed by the driving rain. Is his progress smooth amongst the waves as the picture suggests? Or, is he unsteady, struggling for footing on the turbulent surface beneath him?
As Jesus approaches the boat, he sees how frightened his disciples are and knows he must push them a little further in their fear. Just as the man Jesus may have had to push himself as he left shore.
Jesus commands Peter to walk with him on the water and he does, for a short time. Peter famously allows his fear to get the better of him and sinks. Jesus asks, “Man of little faith, why did you doubt?”
It is an event in the New Testament that is very familiar, and the concept of walking on water as a sign of faith has become part of our vernacular.
A detail that has always intrigued me is the moment when the disciples saw Jesus coming towards them and were terrified. They thought he was a ghost. The reality is that Jesus is amazing and wonderful and exactly the man you want walking towards you in a storm.
During turbulent periods in our lives, we are often faced with something coming towards us that we fear. It appears to be something that may make a challenging or difficult situation even worse.
Yet, there are times when it is exactly what we need.
I’m not talking death, or abuse or catastrophe here; I’m talking about those storms we go through in life that unsettle us and rock our boat to the point where we feel like we are having to cling on to the side to stop ourselves from sinking completely. I’m talking about life’s difficulties. Because even when we follow Jesus, we’re going to face difficulties.
The ‘ghost’ may be a lesson that we really need to learn before we can move forward. It could be a toxic situation or person who pushes us to seek the next, and probably better, stage of our journey.
Sometimes we are faced with a hard truth where we are forced to evaluate our own actions and behaviours and make some much-needed changes. As confronting as this process may be, we become considerably better people for it.
Sometimes, it isn't a ghost coming towards us in the midst of a storm.
Sometimes, it is God.
Today's Readings: 1 Kings 19:9,11-13 Psalm 84 Romans 9:1-5 Matthew 14:22-33
Source: Nineteenth Sunday of Ordinary TimeAbout Faith , This Sunday