Summary: One of the worst and most serious of all life’s distractions is our fears which may momentarily cause us to take our eyes off of Jesus.
"But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me."
Here’s a scenario I would like for you to consider, you just left the doctor’s office and was given a list of foods to avoid and then you go to a family dinner only to discover that the entire list is on the table-you know you shouldn’t eat it but you’re enjoying the evening with your family something you seldom get to do, an evening with your loved ones who you don’t see everyday and so with this in mind you go ahead and go against the doctor’s directions. Later, you go back to the doctor’s office as a follow-up and he or she admonishes you for not doing what was instructed and causing a delay in your treatment. Why? Because you were distracted.
You go to church on Sunday morning instead of you being blessed and listening to the message you lose focus because you are listening to a baby cry, watching others walking during the sermon, etc., and the moment you focus on them you miss out on what the man of God has prepared to preach. You leave church saying to youself that it was a good service– you did get something out of it but you just cannot say exactly what it was that you got out of it. Why? Because you were distracted. Have you ever considered just how big a menace distractions are in our lives?
Distractions have caused people to lose their jobs, strained relationships, and has even caused a few divorces. When we are distracted we are here, but really not here. Now days there are so many us vigorously staring at our smart phones; checking our email, our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts. Our bodies are present, but are minds are on the other side of town; absent from the now. We are absent because we are distracted. How often have we read those horrible and heart drenching accounts in the news about a child being injured oftem fatally because his or her parent was focusing on something else rather then their child if but for brief moment?
It tears me apart every time the commercial on TV is shown of a dear mother holding a picture of her daughter and pleading to our young people to not do what her child did by texting and driving which resulted in a fatal accident on the freeway. One of the worst and most serious of all distractions is our fears. If there is something that we are afraid of, it more than often takes up most of our thought process. We tuned into our fear or fears and can hardly concentrate on anything else. Have you noticed that the world is much different than it used to be, we are faced with threats all around us these day. My heart goes out to the families of the victims of Boston marathon bombing just last week and to all the violent actions that has taken place in America prior to this tragic incident. America has become a very different nation since September 11, 2001, because of the constant threat we are under by people who resent our belief in the Lord Jesus Christ. We look around and see many frightening things: gang violence, rape, child abuse and abduction, weapons of mass destruction, et cetera.
We face the fear of losing a job in a shaky economy, the threat of illness, the haunting fear of death, and the uncertainty of life. And all too often we allow these life distractions to succeed in taking our eyes off of Jesus, to the point we become just like Peter here in text, his faith faltered and he almost drowned. There are three reasons why Peter’s faith faltered:
1. HE GLANCED AT THE STORM
Just after the feeding of the five thousand. Jesus sent the disciples away in a boat to the other side of the sea of Galilee because He wanted some time alone for prayer and rest. While Jesus was on the mountain, the disciples were already a pretty good distance away because the strong wind and waves buffeted (tossed about with great force) the boat. Can I paint a picture for you? The boat was tossed about so ferociously until they felt much pain and anguish, and to top it all off the storm came while the disciples were working, in other words the storm came while they were doing exactly what Jesus told them to do. Storms are impartial; they are not selective; they come to the rich and the poor, men and women, black or white; and storms do not care whether or not you are doing what you are called to do, they come just the same.