Our scripture this week is Matthew 14:22-33.
Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
How often do the cares and troubles of the world make us feel we are sinking and cry out as Peter did “Lord, save me!” Jesus is with us and ready to help no matter what the situation, but I’m sure He sometimes shakes His head and says “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” Worse yet, what about the times when we should turn to Jesus and don’t?
When things don’t go “right” we want to know who to blame. This is rarely a good answer and it often distracts us from solving the real problem. It’s not that people who act in bad faith shouldn’t be held accountable, but rather we need to care for those affected and then deal with the guilty parties. Can you imagine Peter climbing back into the boat, soggy and frustrated and saying “You guys made me sink!”
Even big, brash Peter knew the problem was with himself and finding someone to blame would do no good. Jesus had already spoken to him in the water, the situation was over and we assume they continued their journey to the other side. Instead of pointing our fingers at each other, Jesus calls us to reach out to each other with open hands of love, to save those who are sinking, just as He did with Peter.
Loving Lord, we are too quick to assign blame and too slow in forgiving. Help us to see the needs of others and respond with Your love. Amen.