“But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink, he cried out, ‘Lord, save me!'” Matthew 14:30
All I could think about when my eyes lit on this verse this morning was that Peter remembered the wind from years of fishing on this lake. Wind and storms would come up very suddenly, from what I’m told about the geography of the area. He remembered.
It is much like that with many of us. Remembered pain or fear or experience frightens us, causing us to doubt. It wasn’t the uniqueness of the fact that he was walking on water that scared him — it was the familiarity of the wind that caused him to doubt what he was doing.
When we embark on something new, there is often already an inherent fear. But I wonder how many things we avoid doing simply because we’ve “been here before” and we fear a similar outcome. Or even if it is a new experience, there is something that tugs at us, reminding us of an old experience that was unpleasant. A therapist might call it a “trigger.”
I had this happen last Christmas. Being someone who has dealt with anxiety and depression for most of my life, I had been free of both for the better part of four years. I believed I had already been healed. Suddenly, out of nowhere something I read sunk me into a depression, and although it was relatively mild compared to these types of seasons in the past, I did not see it coming and could not get out of it.
It took me a while and the help of a Christian counselor to help me realize what was happening, but she also encouraged me that she believed this was the season God wanted to heal me. My condition was like an onion, years and years of built up coping mechanisms that just didn’t work anymore. Why did that particular thing had trigger me when nothing else had? Perhaps it was something that I hadn’t encountered in a long enough period of time that I hadn’t been challenged to deal with it yet, and now was God’s appointed time.
I have no sage words of wisdom except that I think it’s comforting to know that there are others out there who struggle with the same things. Even Peter was “triggered” by the wind but look where the Lord brought him in the years that followed. Perhaps it will not always be a vicious cycle. Today, I pray for your healing as well as my own.