In reading Matthew 14 this morning (also, whenever a devotional leads to a passage for review it is helpful to read the entire chapter to get a full understanding of the time and nuances surrounding the passage)…I digress. But in reading Matthew 14 several things happen that prompt me to write.
Herod, heard reports about Jesus’ miracles and assumed it was John the Baptist raised from the dead. Herod previously had John the Baptist beheaded at the request of Herodias’ daughter. The daughter obviously danced very well for him and guests at a dinner and he promised to give her whatever she wanted. Amazing how these modern day events are not new under the sun just more perverted! Dancing for men has long lead to other criminal acts! Hmmm…digressing again. It was however, not Jesus and when Jesus heard of John’s fate he went away privately to mourn.
The fact that God allowed John the Baptist to be beheaded and did not intervene reminds me of a conversation I had with my mother not long ago when I told her God allows whatever happens to us. She disagreed, and said we would have to talk more about that at a later time because she just does not believe God has anything to do with what some people choose to do to others. I would not say He has something to do with it either, but I do believe He allows it. Look at all the miracles and places God puts Himself in. What is it about our God that would prevent Him from stopping all evil that happens? There is nothing. There is also no answer as to why He does not stop it aside from the fact, we live in an evil world first and foremost, and it is our purpose on earth to overcome evil with good.
Back to the story – Jesus could not fully mourn as the crowds came and hence, the feeding of the five thousand took place. What does this say? To me, it says that even during the hard times of life; even during our distresses and times we only want to feel bad, life still happens. There are still responsibilities and people counting on us. We must prevail and do what we have been gifted and born to do even during hard times. If you are a mother, you must continue to be a mother even when your husband has cheated on you. If you are a friend, you must continue to be a friend to others even when your best friend has been taken away from you by tragedy. Even if you have been molested, you must continue to love and trust others who run the risk of molesting you again in some way. Hmmm…heavy.
The next occurrence in Chapter 14 is God and Peter’s walk on water. God extended His hand and gave the charge for Peter to come. Peter lost heart, feared and needed God’s help. The fact that Peter feared and lost faith is often the pinnacle of this story but I choose to take heart in the fact that God caught him even when he wavered! That is the kind of God we serve!
Moral of the story – If God allows it, we can take it. Practice good towards others despite your circumstances. Trust God and try walking on water. If you become afraid, call for Him and He will surely catch you before you drown!