Matthew 14:28 – 31 – Peter said to him in reply, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw how [strong] the wind was he became frightened; and, beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
How often in life do we get distracted from that which is most important? There are many moments in life where we can find ourselves so caught up in the worries of day-to-day life, that it can sink us into a mire of confusion, frustration, or even helplessness. These times of great distraction can wear on our relationships with each other and with God. We find ourselves so consumed with anxiety and fear about what is going on around us that we panic and then lose sight of what is most important.
It is in these times that we can sympathize with Peter in the reading above. Peter wanted so much to trust his life to Jesus and left everything, in order to invest his life in Christ. When he caught sight of Jesus walking toward his boat, his heart leapt for joy. So much so that he asked Jesus to command him to come to Jesus in a very dramatic and miraculous way: walking on water. As a fisherman, Peter knew the ways of the sea and the world and what you could and couldn’t do when it came to maneuvering on water. Yet he wanted so much to be in the arms of Jesus. However, his joy only took him so far before he got distracted but the world around him; the wind and the sea. Taking his eye off of Jesus, he began to sink.
Don’t we all? How often do we have this same fervor for things of God, only to lose sight of them out of fear for the situations we are facing in life? There are many big things in life that we have to face and can’t just dismiss, or be satisfied with simple clichés like: “Just don’t worry. All things happen for a reason.” Or: “If it doesn’t kill you, it will make you stronger.” We have to face things like lawsuits, tax issues, major house repairs, college tuition, medical expenses, job loss, etc.
But God doesn’t want us to do it alone. He is calling us to have faith in Him and walk forward, through the difficulties, through the ‘rain’, keeping our eyes on Him and knowing that even in the midst of all this, He will never leave us. He will pick us up out of the sea. But we have to not let the distractions get the best of us nor let them destroy us and our families. Too often, couples allow themselves not only to get lost in the many distraction that go on around them, but they also feel called to invite many of them into their lives. By this, I mean, many couples keep adding more and more problems and distraction to their plates because of sin or selfishness or lack of boundaries or the willingness to just say “no.”
When life starts to get out of hand, it is important for us as a couple to take a “time out” together, gather our wits and really get our eyes and our lives focus back on Jesus and what He wants of us and for us. We need to look at what we do have control over and what we don’t have control over. Then, possibly with some outside help, start to work on fixing the things we have control over, and finding better ways to deal with the things we don’t have control over. For instance, we can’t control the fact that our kids will get sick at times, but we can do things to minimize it by keeping a clean house, or giving them vitamins, or teaching them to wash their hands more often. Another example might be that we can’t stop our place of employment from making decisions that create a difficult work environment, but I can either learn to find productive ways to cope with it or start looking for a new job. Yet another one could be that even though we made some poor financial decisions in the past, we can work together to gain control over our finances with a budget and some fiscal and personal boundaries around spending, in order to start chipping away at an eventual and positive resolution.
You may see these examples as not applicable to your situation in life. However, it is still important for us to never let the stresses of the world sidetrack us from being united with our spouse. We should always keep our eyes focus on and praying about what God wants of us through each difficulty. Then we need to avoid focusing on the things we cannot change, which can cause us to become blinded to the things we do have control over.