Derek Redmond was an outstanding athlete, highly favoured to take out the 400 metres gold at the Barcelona Olympics. He set a blistering place in the heats and made it through to the semi-finals. However, at the 150 metre mark he tore his hamstring (ouch) and his race was over. Dashing out from the crowd, and breaking through security, Derek’s father ran out to help him. His father picked Derek up and supported him all the way to the finish line. Video footage of the event shows the grit, determination and pain on Derek Redmond’s face. But, despite his efforts, he could not have done it on his own.
The Gospels recount a remarkably similar occurrence (Matthew 15:22-33). Jesus’ disciples were caught in a huge storm, alone in a boat, far from shore. It must have looked like they were finished too. However, Jesus comes to them in the midst of this storm, walking on the waters of the lake. In their fear the disciples mistake Jesus for a ghost until he reassures them of his presence. Peter starts walking out on the water to Jesus but when he starts sinking Jesus pulls him up and hauls him into the boat.
Reflecting on this story, Jesus comes to us in the storms of our life. The message of this story is that these storms in our lives don’t go away. Instead, Jesus is with us during these storms and he reaches out to us. And where does our faith come into the equation? Well it doesn’t really matter whether you’ve got lots or very little – you need just enough to grab onto his hand.