Today’s Collect asks God for the strength to trust when all seems hopeless and lost, a theme we find in both the Old Testament story and in the Gospel.
Peter’s faith is challenged when he steps out of the boat into the stormy waters. The story tells us that rather than recklessly jumping out, he’s called by Jesus to step outside the relative safety of the boat into the most frightening place he could possibly imagine. And here’s the rub. If he hadn’t looked down at the waves, if he hadn’t let doubt and fear course through his bones, he really could have walked on water.
Jesus’ response to Peter is ‘Why did you doubt? Where is your faith?’ So, why do we doubt? Jesus calmed a storm with his voice, fed five thousand people with only a few loaves of bread, and walked on water. In light of all this, why would we ever lack faith? Jesus isn’t trying to shame Peter. Jesus is not in the shaming business. Instead, he’s trying to get a frightened Peter to focus on what’s most important. And when we face life’s storms, faith is more important than safety.
Today’s Gospel reminds us that God is always acting to bring us through difficult situations, to lift us up from stormy waters, and to bring us to safety. It reminds us that faith has no limits. To take this on board in the difficult situations we face in life, situations where we can see no way forward, takes a great leap of faith and trust. But like Peter, we will discover that when we act in faith, we are not alone in the stormy waters.
In peace, Mother Lynda