Scripture: [When Peter tried to walk to Jesus on the water and found himself sinking] Immediately Jesus extended His hand and caught him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” (Matthew 14:31 AMP)
I might hold the world’s record for almost drowning. I never learned to swim. It looks like so much fun, I have always envied those who could. And my efforts always got me into trouble.
At an early age—perhaps four—my busy mother dropped me at the nearby park to play in the supervised kiddie pool. Soon bored and dissatisfied with wading, I watched the children in the big pool, who were actually swimming. They threw themselves headlong into the water, rotated their hands and legs, and laughed with delight. I had to try that. Unfortunately, I got caught in the suction where the little pool drained into the larger. Too small to resist the water’s strong flow, I might have drowned had not an alert adult been watching. She rescued me and took me home, chastened but none the wiser.
Was my jealousy, my eagerness to imitate others, a bit like Peter’s? Did he ask to walk on the water out of envy? Always so full of himself and oblivious to the great chasm between himself and Christ, the big fisherman reminds me too much of myself. Yet Jesus held out His hand with only a gentle rebuke. He saw Peter’s heart and loved him.
When the rooster crowed the morning of Jesus’ arrest, Peter recognized his abject failure and wept in shame. His all-too-human pride was shattered. Then, and only then, he began to live a transformed life.
Prayer: Father God, I still envy others who can do so much more than I. My failures often bring me shame and sometimes cast dishonor on Your great name. Yet You love me and rescue me again and again. Like Peter, I weep in repentance. I love You with all my heart and want to bring You honor. Please transform me!