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  • Writer's pictureMonica Walton

Peter and Me... in the storm

I can relate to this past Sunday's Gospel story in Matthew when Peter exuberantly wanted to be sure that it was really Jesus walking on the water.

"Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water." Read Mt 14:22-33


The danger is that I'm not always prepared for the storm

when I just want to jump into action.






I also know people who are more like the other disciples. They stay in the boat and patiently assess the situation before even thinking about taking that first step.







The danger is never stepping out in Faith,

never giving it your all.







I love to reflect on this Gospel story by watching Peter jump out of the boat and start walking on the water -- let's go! He's all in, full of trust, his eyes are locked on Jesus, his heart is drawn to Jesus, he's intent on reaching Him and proving this whole moment is real and true.

But, then he looks away for a split second.....

Maybe he wants to check on the weather......

Maybe he wants to see how far he's walked.......

Maybe he wants to see if any of his buddies are following........

Whatever the reason, he takes his eyes off of Jesus and begins sinking. He pulls the situation back into his own power...his control.


We can't save ourselves when the strong winds come and toss us about.

* ONLY GOD CAN *

We can't save our family and friends when the strong winds come and toss them about.

* ONLY GOD CAN *


What we can do is keep our eyes and hearts turned toward Jesus.


Think about standing in a crowd or walking down the road and seeing someone looking intently in a particular direction. We can't help but look, too! We just want to see what could have possibly captured their full attention. In the same way others notice when our lives are focused intently on Jesus, and they want to see what about Him has fully captured our heart.


I'm guessing none of you lives in a monastic cell since you're reading this on the internet, so there are many things vying for your attention. We can begin each day in prayer, offering our life to Jesus -- gaze fixed on Him, focused on serving Him. Then, how many times do we look away throughout the day!?! I don't think I want to know the number! But, that doesn't necessarily mean we're saying, "Hold on, God. I'll be back later. There is something else that is more important right now." He has called us to live in this time. He has called us to take care of the responsibilities of this age. But, He wants to be a part of it all, leading and guiding and loving us through it all. So, when we look away with our eyes, we need to keep our hearts focused on Him.


I often pray the Rosary while driving. My heart is on the Lord and Mother Mary, but my eyes have to be attentive to the road and traffic. I raised four children, and while they were growing up my heart was on the Lord and Mother Mary and Saint Monica and my guardian angel -- I needed the whole communion of angels and saints to help me be a good mama -- but my eyes and ears and hands and feet had to be attentive to the children and the household duties. We aren't turning our gaze away from Jesus when we are tending to all of the busyness, as long as we do all things in a spirit of His love. He has called us to live in various phases of life. We have to be careful not to put God aside when our attention is diverted.


We have to remember that we are not in control, He is

as my dear friend Rodney always said. ( May he rest in peace. He is greatly missed.)


Strong winds will come. There is a storm blowing somewhere at all times. People are suffering in some place at every minute of every day -- even those who have their eyes fixed on Jesus in great Faith and trust. Faith isn't a protective bubble or a shield against bad things -- even though we may wish it to be so.


The world can feel so very heavy at times, like this week learning that another friend is suffering the tragic pain of the death of their son. Such pain hurts the whole world. Often, the pains of the world really weigh down on me. I start sinking like Peter because I've taken my eyes off Jesus. I'm wanting power over these things to make all the bad go away!


I hope and pray that when life feels heavy we can resist the impulse to ask the Lord to prove He is near, protecting and loving us. I believe in Him. I know Him in a real and personal way. But, when the strong winds come and fear outweighs trust, it's natural to want to say -- if You are You, God, show me! Let me walk on the water this one time. If He invited me to it, I have no doubt that I would jump out of the boat and say, "I'm all in, Lord! Let's go!" But, chances are I would take my eyes off Him for one split second - just to check....


We don't need to walk on water, we need to watch for the only One who can. And, when we look away, we turn back to Him asking for His forgiveness and mercy.....again and again and again .....in all the storms, both big and small.


 

A Modern Day Parable flowed from my prayer time on this Scripture.

That Gospel passage, Mt 14:23-33, and my story, are attached.

Teach Me to Trust You -- A Modern Day Parable
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Download PDF • 73KB



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walterjr
Aug 17, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

"...until you looked away and doubted..."

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Monica Walton
Monica Walton
Aug 18, 2023
Replying to

Big stuff!

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Guest
Aug 16, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Relatable examples from real life. Yes to trying to do all things in the spirit of God’s love and knowing when to ask for forgiveness and mercy.

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Monica Walton
Monica Walton
Aug 18, 2023
Replying to

Amen!

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Guest
Aug 16, 2023
Rated 4 out of 5 stars.

Very nice ….. a thoughtful perspective on Peter and the Apostles and how each of us attempts to navigate the storms that rise up in our own lives !

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Monica Walton
Monica Walton
Aug 18, 2023
Replying to

Thank you!

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