Sunday, October 14, 2007

Trial and Error

Matthew 14:28-31
"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 and walked on the water to 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?"

After providing food for the huge crowds that had followed him to the place where he had gone for solitude, Jesus sent them away. At the same time he made the disciples leave too, sending them away in a boat. Then, finally alone he went up into the hills to pray.

Later that night, darkness had fallen and the boat carrying Jesus' disciples, now far from the land, rocked wildly on waves that were swelled by a strong wind blowing from the opposite direction. Was this a practice session for the lessons of the evening before, when he had fed the multitudes? In my own life it seems that just when I have had a moment of understanding, God gives me a "test" -- although it's often not until after I've messed up that I realize it.

Jesus reinforced the points that logic must be suspended when he is involved--and that his followers had better be ready for adventure, by catching up to the disciples in a unique way that involved over-riding the laws of physics (Matthew 14:28-31); yet another lesson in "life with Jesus."

Peter seems the prototype for those whose hearts leap to follow Jesus, while their reality is that they fall flat on their faces soon after. I think that perhaps we all fall into that category, some, if not most of the time.

In Amy Carmichael's Edges of His Ways, for October 13th, she writes:
Over and over again I have seen the Lord do "impossible" things. I think He delights in the impossible, and He delights to meet the faith of one who looks up to Him and says, "Lord, Thou knowest I cannot, but I believe Thou canst."

Today the "impossible" thing seems to be "us." Only he can transform such as Peter and I into faithful followers. But He can!

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