When there’s no boat

I heard a very good sermon last Sunday, but as usual, I got hold of one small part of it, and it’s worked on me ever since.  The minister was charting the progress of the apostle Peter’s faith through his various encounters with the miracles of Jesus.  The one on Sunday was about Peter getting out of the boat to meet Jesus walking on water (Matthew 14 vv.22-33).  And panicking.  And being rescued.

Recently, I have felt a bit like I’ve been “out of the boat”, too far from it to find my way back.  I used to hope I was a determined, resourceful person, and that those characteristics would carry me through everything.  Not so.  I hadn’t realised that life is sometimes more resilient in its delivery of difficulties than I am in withstanding them.  Before, the words ‘Be strong’ have helped me to rally myself.  Recently, they’re skiting across the surface, impossible to grab hold of.  So what happens instead?

I admit helplessness, and so am helped.  I admit weakness, and find strength comes from outside of myself.  Jesus was disappointed in Peter’s lack of faith, but “at once” He reached out and saved him. When we find there’s no boat, people around us build one.  When there’s no boat, “at once”Jesus stretches out His hand to us.  “Be strong” flies away.  This is the anchor: “His strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12 v 9).

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