Jesus speaks in times of doubt. “If it is you” we say to the Lord in moments of fear, hesitation, and doubt. Of course Peter should recognize his master’s voice by now – as sheep recognize their shepherd – especially after so much time of personal and public instruction as well as private conversations while walking with the Rabbi day after day. But when fear and uncertainty barge into our experiences, it is not only our courage level that is challenged. It is then that our ‘voice recognition’ technology begins to fail as well. Jesus had said to his terrified disciples “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” This is Jesus speaking the very words of God (an indirect allusion to his divinity) – encouraging words that are repeated time and time again in the Scriptures. Yet in troublesome times we are often deaf to that theme.
Jesus speaks in times of opportunity. “Come” – he invites Peter to obediently demonstrate the power of faith. Peter seized the opportunity, but just for an instant. And then Jesus commented on his lack of faith, his unlasting faith. What a challenge it is to sustain faith over time, especially when the circumstances breed doubt and fear. Wind and waves are either the enemies of faith or the motivators to exercise increased faith. Jesus always seems to have an inviting voice: come follow and fish; come when you are tired and burdened; come when you are hungry and thirsty.
Our Prayer: Jesus, in the times of stress and struggle help us to hear clearly your voice. Help us to pray and not panic, trust and not test. Help us to proceed in your power. Help us to seize the opportunities so that when all is said and done, our water walking is a power walk that praises you. Amen.