After I had whined about my anxiety struggles for months on end, I was shocked when a co-worker said, “Hannah, you’re a Peter.”
Perplexed, I began to trace back to my bible school days to try to remember Peter’s character. Much to my dismay, Peter was the one who walked on water.
The faith to walk on water; there’s no way I could be a Peter, I thought.
Peter was bold and brave, not a sheepish worrier who was too afraid to go to a doctor’s appointment or someone who searched for peace in the dead of night. No, Peter was courageous!
But he was also the one who sank.
In my opinion, many worriers are just like Peter, and they need to start living like it.
Peter was the bold fisherman. He was brash, probably a loudmouth, and was very aware of his sinfulness. When faced with Jesus, he trembled, fell to his knees saying, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” (Luke 5:8 NIV).
And Jesus said, “‘Don’t be afraid; from now on, you will fish for people.’” (Luke 5:10 NIV).
And as a worrier, that minor breakdown is everything. I’m not worthy, the brain tells you. I can’t be forgiven; the heart tries to convince. I’ll never be enough; our emotions ravage. Because for the worrier, those thoughts and feelings cripple us on the inside. But on the outside, we’re bold and choose to fight for our loved One’s sake over our own. We want to be strong. But often, we slip, and we let those inside emotions show. And inside, we feel as though our worlds are falling apart.
Peter’s faith was tested as he followed Christ. Just like every other believer walking in maturity with Christ. However, in the Word, there is no greater depiction of Peter’s faith than when he walked on water.
Or when he sank.
“‘Come’” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on water, and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’ Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. ‘You of little faith,’ he said, ‘why did you doubt?’” Matthew 14:29-31.
Peter was a worrier, and he walked with Jesus. He didn’t sink because he was afraid. He sank because he doubted that his Savior was in control of the situation at hand.
He sank because he took his eye off of Jesus. And just like Peter, I sink to whatever life throws at me when taking my eye off the prize, the One who gave me life.
By no stretch of the imagination do I think that lacking faith is a cause for real-world anxiety. Fears and worries are normal, but as a believer, we have to keep praising the Savior amidst our sinking sand.
Regardless of how we feel, the Lord uses us of little faith. In the process, He just wants us to trust His plan over our own. Peter was worried and afraid of walking on the sea of Galilee. Jesus told him he had little faith! But Jesus also promised that upon Peter He would build His church.
No matter the trial or situation, I think that He wants to use us worriers as He used Peter. Jesus wants us to step back and acknowledge that through Him, we’re walking on water! But without His strength, we’re helplessly drowning.
When my heart gets weary and overwhelmed, so do my thoughts. And it was Peter’s thoughts that distracted him that he was walking on water. We, the worriers of the world, must stop worrying about the “what-if’s” and focused on the truth of who He says He is. We will never control it all, but we can find peace in the One who tosses the winds and waves.
Hush your mind and run to the Father, even if that means crossing the sea.
“And I also say unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock, I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it,” Matthew 16:18.