Last Sunday, Dave preached from Matt 14:22-33 about having faith even in the midst of the storms of life. He started with the joke about a man who gets too close to the edge of the Grand Canyon, loses his balance, and slips over the edge. Just before falling 1000 feet, he grabs on to a root sticking out from the edge.
“Help me!” he cries out. “Is there anyone up there? Help me! Save me! Is there anyone up there?”
A voice answers, “I am the Lord. I can save you. Do you believe in me? Do you really want me to help you? ”
“Oh, yes, Lord, I believe in you, more than you’ll ever know. Please help me.”
the Lord says. “I’ll save you. Now, let go.”
“Just let go of that root you’re holding on to, and I’ll save you. You have to trust me.”

The man pauses a moment, and then shouts out, “Is there anyone else up there?”

Faith often seems a risky business. The disciples had just witnessed one of the most amazing miracles, the feeding of the five thousand, and they had been told by Jesus to go to the other side of the lake. They were doing exactly what they had been commanded to, yet they found themselves in the middle of a storm. Sometimes when we are following Jesus, we find ourselves in a storm. But then, the disciples saw Jesus walking on water – not calm, mill-pond-like water, but stormy water – to reach them. Peter, impulsive as ever, asks to walk on this water to Jesus and he does so. But then, like so many of us, he takes his eyes off Jesus and looks at the waves all around and begins to sink. His only hope is to cry, ‘Lord, save me!’ And Jesus did. Peter found the strength and help that he needed.

There are times when we all look at what is going on in the world around and wonder where Jesus is in all that. We look and we wonder whether we actually heard God right. At such times we again face the temptation to doubt and falter, to focus on the storms that rage around us, instead of focusing upon Jesus, the Lord of life, the Master of the winds and the waves. Our prayer is “Lord God, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the endings, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go, but only that your hand is leading us, and your love supporting us; through Jesus Christ our Lord.”