Blessed… It’s What He Does

Right then, Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead to the other side of the lake while he dismissed the crowds. When he sent them away, he went up onto a mountain by himself to pray. Evening came and he was alone. Meanwhile, the boat, fighting a strong headwind, was being battered by the waves and was already far away from land. Very early in the morning he came to his disciples, walking on the lake.  When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified and said, “It’s a ghost!” They were so frightened they screamed. Just then Jesus spoke to them, “Be encouraged! It’s me. Don’t be afraid.” Peter replied, “Lord, if it’s you, order me to come to you on the water.” And Jesus said, “Come.” Then Peter got out of the boat and was walking on the water toward Jesus. But when Peter saw the strong wind, he became frightened. As he began to sink, he shouted, “Lord, rescue me!” Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him, saying, “You man of weak faith! Why did you begin to have doubts?” When they got into the boat, the wind settled down. Then those in the boat worshiped Jesus and said, “You must be God’s Son!” (Matthew 14:22-33, Common English Bible)

All the other kids were swimming in the deep water. She didn’t see why she shouldn’t be able to do so. She stepped off the wall, into the water and went straight to the bottom. The only reason she shouldn’t be swimming where all the other kids were swimming, in the deep water was, she was three-years-old and she didn’t know how to swim.

I was 14 or 15 years old and was hired to be the lifeguard that day. It was a birthday party in a private pool backyard pool. The mother of the birthday child knew she would be too busy with other things to adequately watch the pool. I don’t remember exactly how I got the gig but it was the easiest job I ever had, until I looked over just in time to see the young lady step off and go straight down. I was able to dive in, grab her quickly and bring her up. She coughed quite a bit, but was none the worse for the experience. I have wondered from time to time how soon it was before she stepped off the edge of the pool again.

As Peter began to walk on the water in our lesson today, he was focused on Jesus and doing just fine. As he walked, however, he allowed himself to become distracted by the wind and the water. I am not faulting Peter. Given the situation, he was doing something he knew to be impossible, it would be incredibly easy to become distracted. Once distracted, his attention was diverted from Jesus and he began to sink.

Peter may have been impulsive, but he wasn’t stupid. He knew he was in trouble. He knew he needed help so he called out, “Lord, rescue me!”

As I have said before in earlier posts, I use the Common English Bible because it is an easy translation for people to understand. That being said, I don’t always like how they translate things. Those three words, well really just the middle word, “rescue,” I am not crazy about the translation. I went to http://www.biblegateway.com and looked at about ten different translations. They all used the word “save” instead of rescue. I like that word much better.

As Peter was sinking, he cried out, “Lord save me.” And that is just what Jesus did. But, the reason I like “save” better is, yes, in a literal way Jesus did “rescue” Peter from sinking into the sea just as I rescued that little girl who sank to the bottom of the pool. But, there is more to the story than just the literal. Jesus saved Peter spiritually too. That is something I could never do for that little girl. Like Peter, she needed Jesus too.

We all do. Like Peter, for all of us, we strive to keep our focus on Jesus but inevitably the conditions around us, the way things go in the world, can get the best of us and we start to sink. For us the problem isn’t literal. It isn’t physical. It is spiritual. We live in a spiritually stormy world and it can be overwhelming at times. It is then we can lose our focus and start to sink. But, know this, whenever we start to sink, like Peter, we can say, “Master save me,” and Jesus will. It’s what he does.

When was a time the world got you distracted and Jesus saved you?

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Joy and Peace,
Keith

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Published by drjkbroyles

I love Mike Ashcraft's book, "My One Word." For the past nine years I have participated and encouraged others to participate to in the "My One Word" Challenge. My first word was discipline was my word the first year. Since then my word has been focus, sight, jungle, peace, concentration, serve, genuine and this year is fit. I seek to be fit for my health, my family, my church, my ministries. I seek to be fit in any are of my life where God might point to me. I also have a nickname, "Dr. B." When I was a public high school teacher, Dr. B. is what most of my students called me, at least in my presence. I am still called that by many people though I no longer teach in public schools. I am the author of "Average Joe: With an Extraordinary Story" (available on Amazon). The book fits into the genre of "Biblical Fiction" or "Christian Fiction" and features some of the Bible's lesser known characters. The name of my blog is, "Fork in the Road." Life is filled with forks in the road. It isn't a matter of if we encounter a fork in the road, but when will we and how many will we experience in a lifetime. I love to strum my guitar. I am not a great guitar player but I enjoy it. I also enjoy writing music. I get excited with I feel a new song emerging. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog, "Bishop" in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 30 years as a United Methodist pastor, serving churches all over east and southeast Texas, from just north of Tyler to south of Houston, from the Gulf Coast to east of Madisonville. I currently serve Perritte Memorial UMC in Nacogdoches. I spent one year in the classroom, teaching High School government, economics, psychology, and sociology. Cindy and I have been married for 43 years. We have two grown sons and six grandchildren, three boys and three girls. I enjoy preaching and all it's aspects from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading. I have dabble in drawing and "painting" with pastels as well as woodworking and woodcarving. My current projects are two ukuleles. I collect, repair and restore guitars too. I play the guitar (badly, but I still do) I also enjoy working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. This blog started out as devotional writings. In August of 2020, I made a major change to the blog, switching to a daily theme format. Sunday Sermon-usually my manuscript sermon Miscellaneous Monday-misc. writing, poetry, ministry Tuesday Thoughts-Devotion Wed. with Wesleys-hist. & theol. of early Methodists TED Talk Thursday-Video & appl. in current theology Five for Friday-5 things I've seen & my thoughts Sing-Along Sat. - Usually a new song I have written I write, "Strumming a G-Chord with Dr.B." to get my thoughts onto something permanent. After all, they say, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. Seeking the Genuine, Keith Lufkin, Texas August 2020

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