Today’s Gospel reading from Matthew 14:22-36 captured me when I began reading the Bible a few years back. It was this passage that nudged me to set my alarm in the morning to “Be Not Afraid”. It was this passage that formed my morning conversation with God before my feet hit the floor ” God, whatever comes my way today I trust that you will be by my side.”
This passage begins with Jesus sending the disciples off on a boat. With that, Jesus hikes to a mountain top to be alone and pray. I let myself follow Jesus to this secluded spot. The human side of Jesus is evident. Is he tired? What is on his mind that he needs to be alone and pray to his Father. Don’t we all have those days when we need to get away from the daily grind.
Back to those guys in the boat. The night grew dark, the waves began to batter the boat, the disciples cried out in fear. Jesus spoke to them, “Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid.” Peter questioning if this was Jesus asked ” Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” A simple response from Jesus to Peter, “Come.” Peter began to walk towards Jesus,but once he relized what he was doing he became frightened , he sank into the water. Peter cried out, “Lord save me.” Jesus stretched out His hand, saved him and said ” You of little faith , why did you doubt?”
We can all identify with the disciples in today Gospel reading. How often do we find ourselves overwhelmed by fear and doubt, even when God shows himself. Reflect back on a time when you were afraid. I’m sure Jesus entered your storm. He may not have calmed the winds as quickly as you would have liked but I can confidently say He did give you the strength to tread water while He guided you. Take some time today to look at the picture that is attached to this blog. Cynthia, my spirtitual beacon shared this with me when fear and doubt was prevalent in my daily life. Ignatian Spirituality teaches us to take part in imaginative prayer. Place yourself underwater, look up, guess who is always reaching down to save you.
“Do not fear what might happen tomorrow. The same everlasting Father who cares for you today will care for you tomorrow and every day. Either He will shield you from suffering , or He will give you unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace, and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginings.” – St. Francis de Sales.
Be still today. Listen for that one word, “come” trust will follow.