Sunday, March 09, 2008

Catching doubt in the palm of His hand

Today’s Reading: Matthew 14:31 (NIV)

31 Immediately Jesus reached out His hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

Good day!

I’ve been asking myself that very question for the last couple of days. Why do I doubt Christ’s Word? If He calls me to get out of the boat and walk across the water, shouldn’t I be able to without fear of sinking? Simon Peter and I have a whole lot more in common than I would like to admit. It’s a little hard to imagine, but I wonder if that man really did have red hair?

Last August, my twenty-eight year old daughter Rachel underwent cancer surgery in Saint Louis. When she followed up with her physician in October, her blood work and examination confirmed what we knew in our hearts to be true – she was healed of the cancer! Last December, Rachel’s medical tests results produced questionable results. In January, she began to experience cancer-like symptoms, and I began to wonder if this cancer had returned. I weighed the medical test results against her state of health and made a judgment call based upon what I could see. By the time Rachel had her biopsies in February, I was convinced she was no longer well.

Sometimes we listen to God but we don’t hear what He is saying. We trust Him enough to let go of the security blanket, only to shrink back in fear, believing that what we see is what we get. When Simon Peter took a look at the water swirling beneath his feet, he couldn’t imagine having the human ability to walk on top of the water and not sink. When he looked down, Peter took his eyes off of Jesus, and began to drown in fear. It was at that moment our Lord pulled Peter up from the raging water and asked, “Why did you doubt?”

When Rachel called Thursday evening, I clearly heard the words she said over the telephone. I’m cancer free! Immediately, I heard the Word of the Lord speak to my heart. He asked, “Why did you doubt?” For a time, I diverted my gaze from the One who heals and was more focused on the deep swirling water beneath my feet. Even in the midst of our great joy, I realized that once again, I failed at Faith-Walking 101. It was high time to confess it and seek His forgiveness for not trusting Him all the more. I needed Jesus Christ to take my doubts into the palm of His nail-scarred palm and heal me once again.

Remind me today, dear Lord, to focus completely on Your Word, especially when I begin to doubt. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO


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