"And Peter answered him, 'Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.' He said, 'Come.' So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, 'Lord, save me.' Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, 'O you of little faith, why did you doubt?'”
I remember being a young person very well. I was a deeply impressionable youth. As a ‘young bol’ (boy), I was always intellectually curious and highly absorbent of my situational surroundings. As a youth, I often found myself carefully listening in on the dialogues of older persons. This happened in family settings, on porches, on public transportation, in barbershops and in between church pews. I managed to eavesdrop on many adult conversations while in plain sight of my elders, in an era when children were often ignored or at least relegated to the background of most social situations. Over the course of my youth, I probably unconsciously paid the most attention to conversations wherein adults confessed and exchanged their problems and personal failures in judgment or decision-making. I also think that I was aware of the problems in my own home and hoping to procure relevant insight that would address my own family concerns. Towards the end of many of these adult conversations I frequently heard phrases like this:
“Well … Whatcha’ gonna do? Hindsight is 20/20.”
What I think that the adults meant was: Once a situation or predicament has unfolded it is easier to see it for what it is more clearly. To be sure this is true, but somehow this phrase never quite sat well with me as a youth. Wasn’t it possible to have 20/20 on the front end of circumstances rather than experiencing the consequences of them afterwards? Insight can be defined as ‘the capacity to gain an accurate and deep intuitive understanding.’
The short passage above from Matthew chapter 14 illustrates my point. Jesus had just compelled His disciples to go ahead of Him on a boat journey. The problem was that a storm soon developed and appeared to be of such force that it could kill them all. At the height of the storm, Jesus suddenly appears and He’s walking on the water! Peter is so excited to see his Master that he is willing to join Jesus on the water. Jesus extends His hand to Peter and the man actually walks on the water with Jesus for a short time.
The only thing that preempted this miracle was Peter himself. The text infers that Peter took his eyes off of Jesus and began to look at his surroundings. It even states the event from Peter’s flawed perspective (when he saw the wind, he was afraid). But Peter never saw the wind (wind can’t be seen). Peter felt the wind. It wasn’t what Peter saw that frightened him. It was what he imagined that scared him. In short, Peter lost his focus. When focused, Peter not only had 20/20 vision – he accomplished the extraordinary! But when he lost his focus on the One who invited him onto the water he began to sink. Life is the same way.
As you begin another semester and season of your life, I want to encourage you to stay focused. Insight is 20/20. Keep your focus on The Lord and His plan for you. Keep your focus on your goals and objectives. Don’t defeat yourself. And don’t simply wait for life to unfold before you learn from it. Rather, stay focused while you’re living it, and you will see miracles happen right before your eyes.
What is the wind that you are seeing in your own faith walk with God? How can you continue to walk out on faith in your own life? Join the discussion in the comments below.