And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?" (Matthew 14:31 NKJV)
This is quite a familiar passage of Scripture, Peter walking on water and sinking when his focus shifted to his surroundings instead of Jesus. Peter is often used as an example of lacking faith in this instance, which he did, but I think we ought to cut him some slack, right? He was in unchartered territory. It isn't like he was going around walking on water everyday. No, he asked Jesus in verse 28, "Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water."
Jesus called him and he went. I think it takes a great amount of faith to step out of the boat in the first place, not knowing what would happen, but trusting that Jesus would care for him. It is not unnatural to get distracted by our surroundings, but we can't get stuck in our distractions. Immediately Peter called out to Jesus to save him and He did.
We've all had doubting moments in our lives, but today I ask, "Why did YOU doubt?" Was it because of external circumstances? Lack of faith? Unchartered territory?
After I read this, I sat and thought for a moment to answer this question for myself. Obviously there are many times, but I want to share this one time with you:
About ten and a half years ago, I was recently married, pregnant, and out of work. Not exactly the way I imagined starting my newly married life. My husband and I were both working at our church full-time when they decided to make cuts. I was one of three people who were cut that weekend before Valentine's Day. Now, I had left my job at a big four accounting firm to go work at my church so I was disheveled when I received my walking papers.
How could this be? Surely God had opened that door for a reason, right?
Given my background in accounting, I thought surely I could quickly find a new job. I even considered going back into public accounting for a while! Eeek! Desperation, right?
As my belly continued to grow, so did my job search. I interviewed here and there. As my belly grew and I went to interview after interview, I received weird stares. A time or two I was asked when I expected to start work and how long did I think I'd need to be out after having a baby. I'm certain my bump played a part in me not getting hired a time or two.
But then a friend of mine forwarded me a job announcement for a position with a government agency. I applied and received a notification that I would be hearing from someone about an interview. Yay! Well, things in the federal government can take a while, a long while. So after about three to four weeks, I reached out and received a response saying if I hadn't heard anything by now then they've hired someone else. Go to usajobs and apply for something else!
After repeatedly applying and interviewing, I was at my wit's end. The year was halfway over and I'd already given birth. The constant no was unchartered territory for me. I started to doubt and wonder if God was leading me to be a stay-at-home-mom. Sidebar: I love my children, but I don't think I'm made for stay-at-home-mom-life. :-)
Doubt and uncertainty crept in. I knew that I would find a job again, but when? I could have started writing at this time but there were too many unknowns.
Fast forward a couple of weeks later. I received a phone call about that government position late one evening. They wanted to interview me the next day! Problem was, my husband would be at work and I didn't have a babysitter. I attempted to reschedule but the manager insisted that it had to be the following morning. The kicker is that she allowed me to interview over the phone. I thought there would be no way they'd hire me from a phone interview.
But they did. I received a call later that same afternoon. :-)
I wanted to share this story because we are all facing uncertainty right now, not knowing how things will look on the other side of the issues we face. No matter what's going on in your life, I encourage you to look back on a time when you doubted God and consider why. Then focus on how God worked in your life.
The same God who called Peter to walk on water, and subsequently saved him from drowning is the same God at work in our lives today. Have faith that He'll save you again, my friend!