I could barely see the ghostly figure down the hall but I knew it was Carl. He was frozen in fear. Once again, I got up from the warmth of my bed and stood in front of him. With a quiet voice, I told him to come and as I stood my ground, he walked past the source of his fear with his eyes on me. Bee lay slumbering on her bed without making a move. Even so, Carl has become so terrified of his sister that he has become immobilized in fear, particularly at night.
Fear can cause a little dog to be made into a horrendous monster and it can cause situations in our own lives to be magnified out of proportion. Many times in my own life I have been paralyzed with anxiety. On many occasions it has stopped me from pursuing opportunities that I believe that God has put before me. In these times, I created my own horrendous monster that blocked me from going forward.
Peter had just witnessed the miracle of Jesus feeding five thousand people with five loaves of bread and two fish. Given this experience, we would think that he would believe that Jesus could do anything. But only hours later, Peter’s faith was tested.
Jesus sent Peter and the other disciples on their way across the sea. A ghastly storm brews and the men are concerned that they will die. Through the rain and high waves, they see a ghostly figure walking across the water. As the figure draws closer, the men call out in terror.
We pick up the story in Matthew 14:27-31. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”
And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”
So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!”
And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
Notice, that as Peter was focused on Jesus, he was able to walk out on the water. But when he took his eyes off his Lord and placed it on the wind, he sank. How often do we glare at our anxieties and don’t even think about going to prayer with them?
As long as Carl could focus on me, the fear of passing by his sister was minimized. I must admit that I can become frustrated with him and want to just go back to sleep. But then I think about Peter sinking and how Jesus pulled him up out of the water when he lacked faith. This story reminds me of Jesus’ compassion when we struggle.
So as long as Carl suffers from the fear of his sister, I will be there for him. And it will serve as a reminder that Jesus is there for me when I take my sights off of Him and place them on fears of this world.