Monday, May 31, 2010

Watching from Starboard

I've been Peter. Actually, I feel like my whole life has been a series of Peter moments - you know, those times when God calls you to get out of the boat and trust Him to keep you from sinking. Don't let anyone tell you it's easy being Peter. Anyone who has ever had their faith tested knows that the sight of the waves and the sound of the wind is a tough competition for the quiet, steady voice of the Savior.

Although it's hard to be Peter (and there have been a number of times that I took my eyes off of Christ and started to sink) it's also kind of an honorable challenge. To know that it's just you and Jesus - one calling, the other walking - to lose sight of everyone and everything around you and focus in on Him and see Him focused on you is an indescribable moment. And even when I begin to falter and feel the waters rising around me, when He reaches out for me there is such an overwhelming hope and joy that makes me crave another opportunity to join Him on the lake.

But then there are the times when I don't get to be Peter. There are times when I'm Philip, or Thomas, or Bartholomew. There are times when my faith is not carrying me across the water, but when I have to watch a dear friend be challenged in their faith. I am not such a fan of staying in the boat.

You see, from here all I can do is watch and pray that Christ won't let my friend sink because of the storm. All I can do is hope and pray that my friend keeps looking into the eyes of Jesus. I can shout encouragement, I can watch and hope, but I can't do anything to keep my friend walking into our Lord's outstretched arms.

I feel helpless. I feel useless. I feel like my faith isn't strong enough to carry them across the water. But I feel like my faith doesn't really matter here anyway.

Sometimes when I have to stay in the boat I'm afraid because, well, I know "Peter". I know my friend's faith is weak. I know they won't keep their eyes on Christ. I know it's only a matter of time before they sink...and it breaks my heart to watch them get out of the boat.

And then sometimes...sometimes "Peter" astounds me. Sometimes "Peter" walks right across the tide, grabs Christ's hand and turns toward the shore. Sometimes "Peter" puts my safe-in-the-boat faith to shame.

Erin, thank you for being a faithful Peter. I will try to be a faithful Bart.