Sunday, October 28, 2012

Safeguarding Faith

One of the stories in the scriptures that has long fascinated me is the account of the Savior walking on water, and Peter's attempt to join him.  We focus--and rightly so--on the fact that shortly after stepping onto the water, Peter wavered, he fell into the water, and the Savior reached down and lifted him up with the words, "O ye of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?"

Here's the thing about it that always sticks with me:  Peter had the faith to get out of the boat--in a sometimes tumultuous sea, far from the shore, he hopped over the side without life jacket or life boat and took a few steps on water, and then sunk below the waves.  As far as we know, he is the only person beside the Savior who ever walked on water.  If the Savior referred to Peter, who had just walked on water, albeit briefly, as "ye of little faith", how much bucking up could our faith possibly use?

It also reminds us that having the faith to take the first step does not guarantee us the ability to run across the water's top--faith must be bolstered continuously, step by step, never wavering.  If you waver for a moment, you could slip under the water and find yourself tossed about by the waves.

In our moments of "little faith", we thankfully have the same rescuer at our side that Peter had at his: Jesus Christ.  He may gently rebuke our lack of faith, after all the time we have spent with his companionship and the miracles we have seen him perform, but if we simply reach up and call for aid, he will not let us drown.  He will not abandon us to destruction simply because we sometimes lose our footing. "Be it unto thee according to thy faith", he said.  He will help in any and every way he can, but much depends on what you do with your agency--agency that, for all the power he wields, he will not usurp.  Peter, and the revelatory Priesthood he so honorably bore, became the rock of foundation on which the Savior built his church at the conclusion of his earthly ministry.  Certainly he can make more of you than you now are.

When he calls to you, have the faith to get out of that boat.  And then keep the faith, step by step, so that you keep that head of yours above water.

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