Peter stands in the space between faith and fear.
The story is familiar to most of us. Jesus' disciples have gone ahead in a boat, at his instructions, and a strong wind comes up, buffeting the waves against them. They are frightened, understandably. Then they see Jesus walking on the water toward them. They don't recognize him and believe he's a ghost. Their fear escalates to terror. Peter, always the blustery, forge-ahead type, calls out, "Lord, if it is you, call me and I will come to you." (I'm paraphrasing here...the verses are Matthew 14:22-33.)
Jesus says "come" and Peter does. He had been afraid, he chooses faith, and, then, he walks on water. Until fear grabs hold of him again, and he begins to sink. Back and forth the waves rock them. Up and down they float. He is firm and then he is sinking. It only takes a moment for the circumstance to change, for fear to turn to faith and back to fear again.
I've often read this story and thought Peter was a wimp. Then, I move on to berating myself for also having so little faith (I know I'd sink right alongside him). Why does he look at the wind and waves? Keep your eyes on Jesus, I think, as if that's easy to do. I never look at Peter with admiration for getting out of the boat in the first place.
This morning in church our priest pointed out how impressed she was by Peter's willingness to leap over the edge of the boat. She said, "I can relate to Peter. Many, many times, like him, I have stood on the edge between faith and fear."
And so have I. Her words resonated within me. I'm in a faith/fear place now, in fact. God is calling me to trust Him for provision. He's asking me to step and believe, not trusting in what I see happening all around me, but instead trusting in His voice, His presence in the midst of the tumult that comes against faith every time. I pray that as I engage the process, step over the edge, and choose faith, that I will continue to choose faith even after I have slipped and fallen back into fear. That, like Peter, I will reach out and take hold of Jesus' hand and experience His faithfulness all over again.
Linking up with Michelle at Hear it on Sunday, Use it on Monday.