Hindsight is 20/20. And it’s also easy to judge a situation from the outside. But it’s helpful to remember stories of faith from a human perspective – giving the grace needed to courageously face the wind and waves of our life.
For instance, Peter is often given a hard time for taking his eyes off Jesus while he was walking on the water. Initially, he took a step of faith out of the boat, but then the fear of the wind and the waves overtook him and he began to sink. It’s easy to suggest that Peter should’ve just kept his eyes fixed on Jesus and not be concerned about the wind and the waves. And, of course, this is true. All the same, seeing his very human reaction allows us to be kind to ourselves when we do the same.
To be sure, the wind and the waves that Peter experienced were real. This was not merely a thought-exercise or role-play in the safety of his house. As an experienced fisherman, every instinct in his body screamed this is a dangerous situation. And so while yes, a simple act of faith was all that was needed, we don’t have to pretend it was easy per se.
And this is true for us as well. For example, there might be times in which we’re faced with serious medical concerns, financial collapse, or a marriage on the brink of divorce. And the right answer in these moments is to keep our eyes on Christ. But this is not to pretend the pressure, stress, and fears we’re experiencing are not real. We’re learning to exercise our faith as we face very real and dangerous challenges.
And, like Peter, we too will be prone to let our troubles terrify us and take our eyes off Jesus. This is not an excuse, but an encouragement not to beat ourselves up for being human.
In the end, the wind and the waves are real and there’s no use to pretending otherwise. But don’t stay distracted. Keep returning your gaze back to Christ as often as necessary.