Good morning! I hope this day finds you and your family well, and I want you to know that you are in my prayers daily during this difficult time.
I invite you to take a few moments with me to reflect on today’s Upper Room Devotional below — as well as on the theology woven into “It is well with my soul.”
Matthew 14:28-33 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
28 Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29 He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he noticed the strong wind,[a] he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
Tim’s Devotional Reflection for Today
Today’s passage of scripture is part of the story of Jesus walking on the water of the Sea of Galilee. Matthew’s version of this story has Peter also walking on water—at least for a moment. He asks Jesus to command him to do it and Jesus simply says, “Come.” Peter gets out of the boat and started walking on the water toward Jesus. It is certainly an amazing moment, but it doesn’t last. He looks around at the waves whipped up by the strong wind and fear takes over. He begins to sink and cries out for Jesus to save him. Jesus reaches out and takes him by the hand and says, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”
We don’t have to imagine the effect of this story on the early church. They were enduring persecution in many places. They were bravely stepping out in faith and moving toward Jesus, but sometimes the strong winds of persecution brought on such fear that they knew they would surely sink. They experienced what it was like to step boldly out of the boat and they knew what it was like for fear to overwhelm them. They knew what it was to cry out, “Lord, save me!” and they knew what it was like to feel lifted out of the waves of doubt.
What about today? Are you experiencing waves of fear and doubt? The good news of our faith is that you don’t face it alone. There are others in the boat with you and the Risen Christ stands firmly in the waves to lift you up.
I think of the refrain of the old hymn: “Love lifted me! Love lifted me! When nothing else could help, Love lifted me.”
Thank you for sharing this early moment of your day with me, with God, and with the words and music that I hope you will carry with you throughout the coming day and night.
I am so grateful for you, for our church, and for the Love that will see us all through this very difficult time. Please stay safe and well and we’ll be together again in spirit tomorrow morning!
Grace and Peace,
Dr. Tim Bruster