Can you imagine being Peter in that boat? It is the middle of the night and one minute this being you perceive to be a ghost is coming toward you, walking on the water no less. The next you are out walking on the water yourself! I have to say, I probably would have been one of the other eleven that sat by and watched in wonder.
Most teachings on this passage focus on Jesus’ command to not be afraid. This is profoundly true and important. However, I want to stop and consider why Peter became afraid in the first place.
The BIble says, “when he [Peter] saw the wind.” That night on the water, Peter lost his focus. Rather than focusing on Jesus, he began to notice the wind and waves around him. This caused him to be fearful and he sank only to be saved when Jesus reached out to him.
Several years ago, I began cycling with my husband. It had been years since I had ridden a bike. My bike handling skills left much to be desired. In fact, if I wanted to brake, I had to cautiously move one hand at a time down to the brakes. Stopping quickly was not in the cards for me. As I rode more, I became more and more confident.
One of the major lessons I quickly learned was, you will go where your focus is. If there was a rock or other obstacle in my path and I wanted to avoid it, I focused my attention on the path I planned around the rock rather than the rock itself. This was the best strategy for avoiding obstacles on the road.
As the saying goes, “Life is like riding a bicycle.” And apparently it’s like walking on water with Jesus. We begin to sink when we shift our focus away from Jesus. Jesus never promised an easy life, the waves are going to rage around us. Life is going to throw many obstacles along our paths. It is rarely easy.
However, where we place our focus matters so much more than the actual problems we face. If we focus on our problems and obstacles in life, we become distraught, fearful, or angry. We begin to sink like Peter. We so often do everything in and of our own power to solve our problems, only exhausting ourselves and causing more anxiety, fear, and heartache.
Yet when we begin to focus on our Savior, our perspective shifts. As we move our attention and focus to the Creator of this world, our problems don’t seem quite so daunting. My focus is no longer placed on myself or my situation. It shifts to the Almighty. The One who knows my end from my beginning. The One who formed this world, including little old me. When I look at my situation in light of Him, all those things don’t seem quite so important or quite so difficult. Because He is all that matters. So why don’t we make Him our focus?
The problem is generally my own as I forget to be mindful of what I am focusing on. So where is your focus? I guarantee whatever it is, that is what will determine your perspective on your situation in life. So determine to focus on the One with all the answers because He knows all and is an ever present help in time of need.