Interviews with lifeguards fascinate me. I find it amazing that most of them say one of the most dangerous aspects of their job is reaching out to a drowning victim. The lifeguard has seconds to calm the victim and start the rescue. It’s puzzling to think panic and fear might be a victim’s first response, especially when the victim risks pulling the lifeguard under water.
The victim, who is full of fear, fails to realize that the lifeguard knows what’s best. He keeps struggling in the water and fighting against the very person there to help.
I think about a lifeguard after I finish reading today’s scripture passage. Most of the messages I hear always concentrate on Peter’s walk on the water. But I stop and think about the disciples who remain inside the boat.
Jesus tells the disciples to go to the other side. When they attempt to follow Jesus’ instructions, they are met with resistance in the form of a strong wind. When Jesus approaches the boat, the disciples can’t recognize Him because of their fear.
Isn’t this the same thing that happens to us?
How many times do we struggle to complete a task? Reach a goal? Follow a dream? What do we do when we face an unexpected problem? What happens when we invest too much time, energy, and effort to quit and turn back? Do we try everything we can think of to finish?
A sudden difficulty could affect our health, our finances, our relationships, or our jobs. No matter what it is, we don’t expect our lives to fall apart just as we make it halfway to our goal.
We are frustrated because we know this sudden and unexpected challenge has the potential to destroy what we have been working towards. Our focus is so intent on getting the job done that we panic or experience fear when help arrives.
Why do we resist Jesus when He sends help? Is it because we are so focused on how we think things should be done? Do we panic at the thought of doing things differently? Have we failed to recognize our lifeline? Are we distraught because help arrives and looks nothing like we imagined?
What is Jesus speaking to you today? Where is He calling you to serve? What is He asking you to do? Will you summon the courage to stop being so rigid about your vision? Will you say, “Yes, Lord,” without telling Him how you expect Him to work in your life?
Going back to our scripture passage, we see that as soon as Jesus steps into the boat, the winds die down. The struggle ceases. They reach the other side.
The disciples are in the same circumstance – in a boat, surrounded by water. The shift is in their focus. They recognize that Jesus is with them.
Likewise, as soon as we welcome the Lord into our circumstances, our focus should also shift to Him, and we must trust Him to complete the work He started in us.
Thought for Today: “The more important a call or action is to our soul’s evolution, the more resistance we will toward pursuing it.” ~Steven Pressfield.