Which apostle do you identify with? Of all the apostles, I think I identify most with Peter. Peter was stubborn to the point of obstinacy. So am I. Peter was prideful, even arrogant, at times. I can be, too. I feel drawn to Peter because of his humanness.
By Theresa Nixon
Of all the apostles, I think I identify most with Peter. Peter was stubborn to the point of obstinacy. So am I. Peter was prideful, even arrogant, at times. I can be, too. I feel drawn to Peter because of his humanness. I see so much of myself in him: obstinate, proud, selfish. But, like Peter, I love the Lord, and that is my saving grace.
In the fourth watch of the night he went towards them, walking on the lake, and when the disciples saw him walking on the lake they were terrified. ‘It is a ghost’ they said, and cried out in fear. But at once Jesus called out to them, saying, ‘Courage! It is I! Do not be afraid.’ It was Peter who answered, ‘Lord,’ he said ‘if it is you, tell me to come to you across the water.’ ‘Come’ said Jesus. Then Peter got out of the boat and started walking towards Jesus across the water, but as soon as he felt the force of the wind, he took fright and began to sink. ‘Lord! Save me!’ he cried. Jesus put out his hand at once and held him. ‘Man of little faith,’ he said ‘why did you doubt?’ And as they got into the boat the wind dropped. The men in the boat bowed down before him and said, ‘Truly, you are the Son of God.’ (Matthew 14:25-33 JB)
Whenever I read the passage of Jesus walking on the water and Peter sinking under the waves, I imagine that Jesus must have chuckled at Peter’s impetuosity because He knew His chief apostle’s weaknesses. When He invited Peter to “come,” He knew Peter would balk. The reality of the wind, rain, and sea overwhelmed him, and Peter sank because he temporarily put his faith in those elements around him instead of keeping his eyes firmly on Jesus. Jesus gently admonished him as he pulled him to safety.
“Oh, you of little faith—why did you doubt?”
Jesus knew Peter just wasn’t there in faith, yet.
Jesus loves us despite what we are. He loves us through our weaknesses and even turns them into strengths. Sometimes our humanness causes us to waver, as did Peter when he falteringly walked towards Jesus on the water. How many times have I, like Peter, forged ahead in great faith filled with ambitious plans, only to sink when tested! And, like Peter, I cried out, “Jesus, save me!”
My daily prayer is for the grace of a stronger, enduring faith. As I look back to my re-conversion in the faith up to the present moment, I see how, step by shaky step, my faith has grown stronger. Whereas, before I used to rely on people, places, and things for answers, now I give my concerns and petitions to Jesus through His Mother, Mary. What better place than Mary’s loving hands to put my prayers for her to present to her Son?
As did Peter, I learn more each day to trust with the faith of a little child as I struggle to follow along my Savior’s footsteps. I still get scared. Only this past week I had a real health scare that seemed potentially quite serious. I asked Mary to take over and put everything in Jesus’ hands. She did. The situation proved to be not serious as originally thought, and in fact, was relatively harmless.
Thank you, Mother Mary, for your intercession! I learned that regardless of the situation, giving it all up to God is the best thing we can do. He alone knows what’s best for us. One day, I’ll need that faith and strength to face the inevitable when my time does come at last. As Peter did. As we all must someday.
Photo Credit: By Yorkshiremany (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons
My name is Theresa Nixon. I was born and raised in San Diego, California, into a large, Catholic family and now reside in the DC area. I began a writing career in the 1980s as a music reviewer for Music Connection magazine and spent over ten years working in the entertainment industry before realizing that my life was disconnected. I realized I needed to return to my Catholic roots and the faith of my childhood. I have a Master’s in Management from The Catholic University of America, and hope to complete my book this year on my memoirs as a child growing up Catholic in a large, working class family.