Lessons From The Lake – October 5, 2022 (304/365)

The winds were screaming and pushing everything about, and the waters needed little convincing to follow… and in the middle of it all was one boat with a little more than 10 men on board. They were trying to stay afloat, they were trying to keep things together, but the storm did not show signs of ending soon… in fact, it was getting stronger.

Most of the men were fearfully trying with their own efforts to survive, but, amazingly, even in this chaos, one Man was sleeping. Incidentally this Man was the One that the rest of the group looked up to. When things just kept getting worse, they went to Him, screaming, ‘Don’t you care if we sink and die!?’

Immediately after opening His eyes the Man stood and faced the waters, and spoke.

‘Peace, be still’…. and almost immediately the winds stopped, and the waters calmed down.

Reeling from a high-pressure events, and baffled by its sudden end, the rest of the men on board could not help but think, ‘Who IS this Man, that the winds and the seas obey Him?’

Thank you for allowing me to stretch my writing muscle there. I may have omitted some details of this story, but I put whatever I could recall into it, if only to express that our peace is not found in anyone or anything else, but Christ. Never mind how the winds were so strong. Never mind how the waves of the waters crashed so hard. Never mind decency, and being polite to authority, and even God. The weather, the environment could be so discouraging. Events out of our control or of our own doing can impose such significant weight upon us, much so that we sink so easily. And if we don’t view the threat of the crashing waters, our minds would certainly add to the weight.

It’s no surprise that we will still feel fear, anxiety, and frustration in this world. And much so to the point that we would cry out to God without any sort of filter. But we want to just take time to thank Him… because the same Creator who spoke light into the indiscernible depths in Creation, was the same Savior who spoke peace to the raging waters.

Surely, in all the turmoil we think for ourselves, especially when we find ourselves reeling from what others do to us, or what we do to ourselves… Christ speaks to the waves – ‘Peace, be still’.

On another occasion these same men found themselves out in the waters, but this time, the Man was not with them. He was away, to pray.

The winds started to scream again, and the waves were crashing, pushing the boat to and fro… and just as the men were about to scream out, one of them spots a Man in the distance. He seemed to be effortlessly walking on the water.

And while the rest of the men on the boat were reeling in fear, one of them called out and asked, ‘Lord, if that is You, tell me to come to You!’; Almost immediately the Man said, ‘Come!’ So without any hesitations, this one man confidently hopped out of the boat, as if to walk to the Man walking on the water. He was walking on the water, too!

But as he took one step after the other, he sort of snapped out of it, noticing the sheer strength of the winds and rain, as well as the chaotic waters… and while I’m imagining here, I could just see how he immediately began to sink as soon as he realized that water was not a good thing to stand on – much less waters pulsing, pushing and pulling in all directions.

So the man sank and found himself struggling to stay afloat, and he was calling out to the Man, ‘Lord, save me!’ He pulled him up, asking him, ‘O you of little faith, why did you doubt?’

I’m not about to agree with the many teachers who have come to this event in the Gospel, saying that we have to have faith to walk on water. I will, however, point out that our focus certainly shifts so easily from one thing to another, especially in times of anxiety and confusion. One moment, we’d be focusing on Christ, and then in an instant, we are blown by the winds, shaken by the waters… and in the slightest loss of focus, we start to sink.

The thing is people would start to talk about how we ought to keep our focus on Christ, based on this observation. And yes, I certainly agree with that. There are many benefits for us believers to focus and meditate of the Word, and in our case, the Living Word, who is Christ. I’ve said that before. But I just want to point out that this isn’t the end of the story.

Peter was good at first, walking on the water, ‘focused on Christ’, as we’d like to say. Peter lost focus on Christ, noticed the winds and the waves, and then started to sink. But then, Peter cried out to Christ for help, and He helped him. I see here how Christ remains true to His word, and is faithful when we are faithless, sure; but He’s just as faithful to us with ‘little faith’, just as faithful to us if we doubt.

Christ is faithful when we are doubtful.

I’m sure I could throw in a couple more details here and there, but I was thinking about these two situations while working out today, trying to get my mind together. As always one of my present and persistent flaws and areas of improvement is that I have difficulty getting into something. I mean, I know how the ‘zone’ feels, and I know how awesome it is to be in it – but I find myself easily distracted, and it doesn’t help that there remains remnants of that mindset that insists that I have to do things to ‘get into’ this zone; Like I have to be in a certain mood, or I have to have certain creature comforts satisfied before I start, and even when I do start, it’s like I’m looking for a break right away.

I suppose all this talk about the waters and the winds would have me reminded of Christ, who not only speaks ‘peace’ to my being, but also reminds me that in my wandering and subsequent sinking, He STILL stands on the water… not merely to watch me, but continually calling to me, ‘come’.

I don’t know how this will all pan out but it’s as if to say that Christ calls me, and Christ calls us to come, and we can sort things out in His peace.

The ‘Zone’ isn’t some sort of magical state of mind and being. It’s Christ’s peace, present no matter what state our minds and our beings are in.

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow.

Until the next post, God bless you.

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