GOD KNOWS MY DOUBT
My family and I have been through a lot of trials over the years. And during those trials I have had plenty of doubts. I didn’t doubt that God existed or things like that. But I certainly doubted that His plan in those trials was good, faithful or trustworthy. That’s because it can be really hard to have faith in the middle of a trial or storm. Just ask Simon Peter… he faced a pretty significant storm and his doubts got the best of him.
It’s A Leap Of Faith…
In the movie Indiana Jones: The Last Crusade, Indiana Jones is faced with the perilous task of crossing across a chasm that appears to have no bridge. The clue in his father’s book tells him that, “Only in the leap from the lion’s head will he prove his worth.” After some doubt as the book’s instructions and some self-wrestling with the potential consequences of failure, Indiana Jones takes one big step out into what seems like nothingness, only to land on solid ground. His leap of faith paid off.
Unfortunately our friend Simon Peter had a much different experience.
In Matthew 14 Jesus sends the disciples out onto the Sea of Galilee while He goes up onto a mountain to pray. Later that night a huge storm blows in that scares this group (many of them seasoned fishermen) of men. Suddenly things get a bit spooky.
25 And in the fourth watch of the night he [Jesus] came to them, walking on the sea. 26 But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”
Matthew 14:25-27 (ESV)
So here we are again. Another similar situation. The disciples are in a boat. There’s situation brewing and suddenly Jesus shows up but they don’t recognize Him at first. But once they do Simon Peter also does something familiar.
28 And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29 He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus.
Matthew 14:28-29 (ESV)
Again, Jesus is over there, Simon Peter is over here UNACCEPTABLE! Simon Peter does something that is crazy in calm weather, but in the middle of a storm? It’s unthinkable. But yet he does it.
And I think Simon Peter starts out how many of us do when a storm has hit. We say, “Okay I can get through this. Jesus tell me to walk on the water and I’ll do it. Even though the wind is blowing and the seas are rough, I’m gonna walk toward you and follow you.” So we get down out of the boat and we start that walk but pretty soon something happens. We take our eyes of Jesus for a moment and get caught up in the storm around us and we begin to sink… just like Simon Peter.
Lord, Save Me…
30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.”
Matthew 14:30 (ESV)
If there was ever a moment Simon Peter needed a do-over it was in that moment as he was sinking into the Sea of Galilee. Waters he had fished from, probably from a very young age, and had been through many storms on before. But now Simon Peter is in over his head (literally) and the only thing that he can do is cry out “Lord, save me.” I’m sure many of us have prayed that in various situations in our lives:
- You get laid off or fired from your job and the bills are due – Lord, save me.
- You go to a doctor’s appointment and the X-ray shows one thing and the blood test shows something else – Lord, save me.
- Your spouse has destroyed your marriage with infidelity and you’re so hurt and can’t understand how they could betray you – Lord, save me.
- You’ve been on 3 auditions this week but haven’t booked a thing and now you can’t even put gas in your car to get home – Lord, save me.
- You’ve been falsely accused of something and now your friends and family can even look you in the eye because they think you’re something that you’re not – Lord, save me.
We’re sinking into waves and are buffeted by the gale force winds of life and we’re beginning to doubt that God is good, faithful and trustworthy. And in that moment all we can do is cry out to him, Lord, save me. Because it’s in that moment of crying out for help, that God can show up.
31 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
Matthew 14:31-33 (ESV)
God sees our doubts. God sees the situation that we’re in and says, “You’ve cried out for me and I’m here to rescue you” just like He did with Simon Peter. That doesn’t meant the storm is immediately over, it doesn’t mean the aftermath won’t be painful. What it does mean is that God not only sees and knows our doubts, but He can save us from them if we cry out to him for help.