Jesus immediately reached out His hand and took hold of him, saying to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?" Matthew 14:31
Have you ever heard of someone "freezing in his tracks"?
That is what can happen when a person who is in some real or apparent danger has a mental conflict on what he should do next. As he stands there debating the issue, the danger comes closer, and the threat becomes more ominous. If the internal conflict is not resolved, the individual who has been frozen in his tracks can be seriously hurt or even killed.
Recently, an unnamed Alabama police detective pulled over a man for driving erratically.
He told the man to stay in his car. The man didn't do that. Instead, he followed the officer and confronted him, demanding to know why he had been stopped. Before long the men were struggling, and the driver got hold of the policeman's gun and beat him over the head with it. When the ruckus was over, the policeman ended up in the hospital with a concussion and staples in his head. The man, Janard Cunningham, was arrested and charged with attempted murder.
The officer said he was frozen in his tracks because he didn't want to draw his gun and become the most recent cop to be crucified for shooting an unarmed man. The union president for the police department says street officers are walking on egg shells because of the media.
Now please understand, the Bible never uses the phrase, "frozen in his tracks." Even so, there is at least one occasion where that appears to be the case.
The disciples were on the Sea of Galilee, being tossed about in a storm. It is then that they were shocked to see Jesus coming to them by walking on the water. Knowing they were afraid, Jesus called out words of reassurance. Peter asked, "Lord, if it is You, You invite me to come to You." Jesus extended the invitation, and Peter got out of the boat and also began to walk on the water (see Matthew 14:22-33).
It is then that Peter ended up freezing in his tracks.
For some reason the big fisherman turned his gaze from Jesus to the wind-tossed waves. A single thought might have raced through his mind: "What am I doing?" At that moment, all forward progress was stopped, and downward progress began.
Peter didn't know what to do so he did the only thing he could think of: he called to Jesus for assistance -- assistance that was immediate and successful.
Now, my friends, there are a number of lessons that might be learned here. One would be when fear has frozen you in your tracks, call on Jesus. Another lesson we could explore would be to trust in the Lord. He hears your prayers and He will help you.
I think the best lesson is don't take your eyes off Jesus in the first place. Keep your eyes on the Savior and believe He is always with you, always loving you, always doing what is best for you. Keep your eyes on Jesus who gave His life for your forgiveness and eternal salvation, and you will be amazed at how seldom the fears of this world will freeze you in your tracks.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, grant me the faith, the wisdom, the tenacity to look to You for all that I need to get through each day. This I ask in my Redeemer's Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries