by Marcia Gunnett Woodard

But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and when he began to sink, he cried out, saying, ‘Lord, save me!’”

(Matthew 14:30, NASB).

Do you recall the childhood puzzle game, “What’s Wrong with This Picture?” Has God ever played this game with you?

Not long ago, he invited me to answer such a riddle. While reading my daily scripture passage, I came to Matthew 14:30, “But seeing the wind, he [Peter] became frightened, and when he began to sink, he cried out, saying, ‘Lord, save me!’”

I sensed God whispering, “What’s wrong with this picture?” I read the scene again.

  • Peter walks on the water.
  • Peter focuses on the wind and waves.
  • Peter begins to sink
  • Peter calls, “Lord, save me!”
  • Jesus reaches out and raises him up.

Then, I saw it! Peter began to sink and called, “Lord, save me!” But a person who is sinking in water is totally submerged in less than a second. That was just enough time for Peter to say, “Blub!” Unless the Savior already upheld him.

Could that be why Jesus called him on his lack of faith? If Peter hadn’t panicked, he might have noticed how he continued to breathe above the waves. Could Jesus have buoyed Peter by his power, even though Peter couldn’t see it happening?

Before we’re too hard on Peter, let’s look in the mirror. How many times have we known the Lord has called us “out of the boat,” leading us to write a story, accept a project, aim for a deadline? Then when we get out there, the “storm” is worse than we expected. Circumstances howl with rejection slips, delays, illness, family crises. We panic and cry for rescue. Fear blinds us from recognizing that, although he has not yet calmed the storm, he is already keeping his promise to uphold us.

Let’s pray for faith to better trust the one who will either still the storm or calm our heart but who will always bring us safely to shore.

Thank you, Lord, that your word promises you will uphold us. Help us to trust that promise, even when the skies darken, the waves grow high, and we feel so far from the shore. Remind us again that we are held in the hand of the one to whom even the wind and waves have sworn obedience. Sheltered and upheld by your mighty hand, we have nothing to fear.


Marcia Gunnett Woodard believes in the power of story and uses the narrative arc to launch projectiles of truth and grace past barricaded minds and into walled-off hearts. She enjoys traveling, sewing, games, family, and friends. Her work is available on amazon.com,—search the name “Marcia Gunnett Woodard.” Reach her at m.g.woodard@gmail.com.

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