Everything Falls Apart
By Rev. William Gilligan
I am a pastor just North of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and I love it. We have four seasons, an amazing city, and the church I serve is filled with great people who truly believe in Jesus. I wake up each day and feel close to Jesus; it is one of the times in my life where I feel truly close to Jesus and that I am doing what he called me to do.
One day, I was on my way to a church meeting and hit a deer. A week after that I fell skiing and obtained a concussion, then shortly after that both my kids came down with a cold. How could so much be going wrong? I thought I was right where Jesus wanted me. Shouldn’t life be easy? Shouldn’t things constantly go my way? I mean, after all, I was exactly where Jesus wanted me to be.
Maybe this is the kind of thing you have experienced. Where it feels like life is harder than it should be. Where it feels like everything that could go wrong is going wrong, even when it shouldn’t be going wrong. Maybe it is unemployment, illness, or something else. So often we find pain and agony in the midst of everything else going right.
In Matthew 14, all of Jesus’ followers climbed into a boat and set off to the other side of the lake. Jesus wasn’t there but said he would join them later, so they set out on their way. By nightfall they were a long way out, when Jesus came walking on the water. Peter decided to walk on the water with Jesus and was successful until he saw the waves. The waves were all around him and everything was going wrong. Peter started to sink.
How could Peter possibly sink when he was so close to Jesus? How could he possibly doubt when he was actually walking on the water? I still haven’t found the answer to why so much goes wrong, but what I have found is that even when we are sinking, and everything around us is going wrong, Jesus is still near us. We know that things will go wrong; we know that the world around us is a mess; and we also know that Jesus is right next to us, with us, in the mess.