When you feel like you can’t keep your head above water

Originally published Sunday, 20 July 2014.

He said, “Come ahead.”

Jumping out of the boat, Peter walked on the water to Jesus. But when he looked down at the waves churning beneath his feet, he lost his nerve and started to sink. He cried, “Master, save me!”

Jesus didn’t hesitate. He reached down and grabbed his hand. Then he said, “Faint-heart, what got into you?” Matthew 14:29-31 (MSG) 

The first week felt so hard. 

We walked more than we ran. 

Xylon and I would look at each other and puff out, “Can. We. Walk?”

A few weeks ago, we started running again. 

There are times when I run and I think, “Yes, my body was made for this.” It is easy to run on days like those. 

Then there are times when my legs fail, and I heave my breaths, and I wonder, “Why am I doing this?”

The last two runs have been tough. They have been the kind of workouts where I’ve only kept going because Xylon has been running beside me and he hasn’t stopped. 

Running with Xylon the other day I thought about how some days I only keep running because I can see that we are in this together and I’m not alone. 

Lately, on my runs I’ve been thinking about faith. I’ve been thinking about how faith can change with our circumstances. I’ve been reading Matthew 14, the part where Peter sees Jesus doing the impossible and asks Jesus if he can walk on water too. 

I’m often like Peter, stumbling forward with enough faith to believe ‘impossible’ is just a word people throw around. 

On days like that I have enough faith to believe that God has healed Xylon. And then something happens, our doctor talks about Xylon’s prognosis or more treatments, and like Peter, I look down at the waves churning at my feet, and I think, “What am I doing? How could I even think that impossible is nothing to God?” 

I mumble, “Lord, you’ve got to help me out.”

And without hesitation Jesus reaches out, hugs me to himself and says, “Faint-heart, what got into you? Can’t you see that I’m here, doing the impossible?”

I'm learning that it’s easy to have faith when things are going well. 

It is hard to have faith when just taking the next breath is a struggle. 

Some days I only have faith because I know Jesus can reach me when I doubt. (tweet this)

I’m discovering that when I have nothing left in me to believe with Jesus will reach out and grab my hand. 

Jesus’ hand often looks like a doctor surprising us with treatment options we never dreamt of. 

Sometimes, Jesus’ hand looks like someone running beside me, reminding me when I feel overwhelmed, and my faith feels small, that I’m not alone, and that Jesus will never leave my side. 

Ponder: Because God is able reach out and grab your hand when your faith falters, how can you cultivate a sense of his presence in your own life?

Prayer: Jesus, thank you for grabbing my hand when I can’t keep my head above water. 

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- This was orginally published on my site in June 2014 to read more devotionals like this go to ilovedevotionals.com