Get Out!

We all know the story of how Peter walked on water with Jesus (Matt 14:22-31).  This particular story has been on my mind the last couple of days.  I thought about Peter and how much faith it took for him to step out of that boat onto those surging waves.  I thought about what made him doubt.  What made him take his eyes off of Jesus, and focus back on the waves around him?  What made him doubt?  Was it the waves lapping up on his legs?  The spray of the sea on the wind?  What?  Then my mind leapt (as it is wont to do on occasion) to the men standing on the deck of that ship he left behind.  What were they thinking?  Did one of them say “He looked away! Look! Peter looked away from Jesus, now he is sinking!”  As I thought about those men I placed myself there on that deck.  I could see Peter step out, and I watched him cross the boisterous sea.  I knew the exact moment when he failed.  I saw the moment he took his eyes off of Christ and I knew his doubts as he started to sink.  You see; it’s really easy to see the whole picture when you are not there among the waves.  It’s easy to watch, when you’re not in the midst of the action, and to say “There! That is where he made his mistake!” We must refrain from doing that, though.  We mustn’t persecute someone for their mistakes while we sit safely to the side without anything on the line.  It was when I thought back through the story and realized I had pointed the accusing finger (“There! That is where he made his mistake!”), that I had to stop and tell myself to shut up.  Who was I to criticize?  After all at least Peter got out of the boat.

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