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Walking Nightmare

He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus.

Matthew 14:29
Walking Nightmare Book Cover

Try to put yourself in the disciples’ sandals. Exhausted from a long day of feeding the multitude, your boat has taken a beating from the wind and waves. It’s about 4:00 a.m., and now a person glides toward you stepping on the water as if the lake had congealed. If common sense somehow escaped your reasoning that people tend to sink when attempting to walk on water, you might also think back to your days in the synagogue and remember that only God walks on water (Psalm 77:19; Job 9:8; Isaiah 43:16). Of course, terror would cloud your mind and judgment, causing you to think a ghost strides toward you and your friends. In this moment, what could calm you?

presence calms fears

Not wanting to torture his disciples or play a terrible Halloween-esque prank on them, Jesus immediately calmed their fears. Rather than offering them a parable, platitude, or pep-talk, he gave them his presence. Their comfort came from his nearness. That short phrase, “It is I,” comes from the two Greek words εγωεμι (ego eimi), which couldalso be translated “I am.” These two terms, though small in stature, are giant in meaning. Jesus intended to harken back to the days of the Old Testament when God comforted his people with his name, Yahweh (Exodus 3:14)—the great I Am. I Am helped Moses free the Israelites, helped Joshua conquer Canaan, helped David establish his throne, and now I Am stood on the lake offering his presence in the midst of chaos. Like the saints before us, we also have the promise of I Am to stay with us in the midst of crisis. Our peace comes from his presence.

respond in faith

In response to Jesus’s invitation to have faith in him during times of uncertainty, Peter rightly asked to participate with Jesus. Peter showed great faith by getting out of the rocking boat, only to show the power of doubt in chaos. Doubt, as James teaches us, divides us in two (James 1:6–8). On one hand, Peter had the invitation and presence of Jesus telling him that despite all odds, he could and would walk on water. On the other, the wind and waves screamed loudly at Peter, “You will die!” This interaction between Jesus and his waffling disciple reminds us that faith in the midst of trials requires an undivided focus on our savior, not our surroundings. Though waves and wind churn all around followers of Jesus, we must return to Christ’s proclamation: Take heart, it is I. Do not be afraid.

courage comes from presence

Like the disciples and Peter, we will all face trials and tribulations, fears and failures, doubt and despair. Use Peter’s courage to help you get out of the boat at the invitation of Jesus. And, when you step out in faith, remain steadfast in keeping your eyes on Jesus. He comforts us not by making us strong or fearless. Rather, He comforts us by giving Himself to us. Wind and waves will come, but I Am will never leave you nor forsake you.


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Daily Question

What trials are you or others in your life facing where you need the reminder that Jesus stands in solidarity with you, offering you his presence? How can knowing you are never alone in the midst of hardship strengthen and encourage you?

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Comments (10)

Reading his word daily and speaking his promises over me are a daily reminder that he will never leave me nor forsake me. That strengthens my faith.

My daughter and grandsons moved in with me due to financial hardship. Uncomfortable with returning to work she found an online job which has its challenges. She is feeling down. I am encouraging her to see God’s hand in her situation. She isn’t homeless, the kids are safe, she has a job, we are all healthy God has been good to us. He loves us and is with us, we do not have to be alone. With God we will make it.

Being over worked and under appreciated. Being pulled in many different directions and being made to feel like it’s just what I’m suppose to do bc I can handle it and do it. It’s exhausting.
Jesus calms me, he sees my stress rising and my anxiety trying to take me down. But God… he shows up just when I need him.

Things I shared in the last post, but remembering that Jesus is first in my life. Nothing else. I get so caught up in the day to day that instead of talking with him I’m ranting to someone else or just sulking in my day, instead I can come to him, he is right there, waiting for me to talk with him. Truly knowing he is right there gives me all the strengths and peace I need, I just have to trust that he is there, even in the chaos. He is the calm in the center of it all.

I love how Peter wanted to be part of the miracle asking Jesus to command him to come. But when he took a few steps he started doubting. I feel like I’ve done that many times in my life but I also think like Peter did, that as soon as I do cry out to Jesus letting him know my fears and doubts he brings hope and calmness back to my life. My trials are related to those that I love the most. My family dinamics are difficult and there’s days I’d rather just sink then still keeping faith, but just when my head is about to sink under water I’m filled with hope again!

we are facing trials concerning a family member and grandchildren we are waiting on God’s move and direction I’m trying to move out of the way and let God work it’s really hard but in my heart I know this too shall pass .

Health issues, needing God’s healing. It is difficult when no change comes, so I just keep thanking God for being here with me; thanking God for watching over my (our) health; thanking God that maybe not today or tomorrow, but one day, my husband will be healed

There are a lot of trials that I’m facing currently in my life that are hard but anytime I do feel discouraged I know and remind myself that God has me and has a plan for me to help me and knowing he will bless me and this is the perfect plan even if it may not seem perfect to me. I’m learning the fruits of the spirit. To have more patience and grace and being more loving and understanding of others and being able to love them where they are. Because God too does the same for us. He meets us where we are and doesn’t make us feel bad he may convict us but only to help us better understand him and how we can change it. With his help

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