Reading the imagery of Psalm 69 brings to mind two other passages in the bible. Some may remember the scene of Jesus walking on water and calling Peter out to walk with Him. Peter only makes it a few steps before the storm around him distracts him from his Lord and causes him to sink in the water. The other passage is from James 1 that says:
2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. 5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, 8 being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
Usually in this reference from James we separate verses 2 & 3 from the rest because they don’t seem to go together but the truth is, they do! If we read Psalm 69 we see that David feels like he is drowning but asks for God to rescue him. Sometimes our rescue might look like that hand that Jesus thrusts out towards Peter (Matthew 14:22-33) and other times it looks like wisdom to help us navigate the storm. It’s interesting to note that after Jesus pulls Peter out of the water, He points out that he sank because of lack of faith. “Why did you doubt?” Jesus asks. If it hasn’t clicked yet, reread James 1:6 above. James is referring to Peter’s experience, which was a physical representation of what David wrote in this psalm!
Sometimes we lose our focus on Christ and begin to sink. Other times, the waves and wind from the storm we are walking in threaten us and try to push us under. The solution to the problem is the same: ask God for help! This is a very simpleconcept but I think many of us can admit that it isn’t very easy. The reason is our human pride. It causes us to resist God. It causes us to not ask for help. It creates in us an unspoken rebellion against God, because we think we can do His job. He doesn’t help us, however, until we ask for it. This is why James continues:
9 But the brother of humble circumstances is to glory in his high position; 10 and the rich man is to glory in his humiliation, because like flowering grass he will pass away.
We must humble ourselves before God and admit that we cannot do it on our own. Some of you might have heard the verse that says, “But God opposes the proud and rescues the humble.” This is that very principle in action. When Peter began to sink, did Jesus immediately pull him out of the water? No, he waited to see how long Peter would struggle before asking for help. God allows us to experience the storms of life so we can learn how to trust in Him more. Sometimes, however, those experiences bring us to our knees and help us reach our breaking point. He breaks us down to reveal to us our own frailty and when we finally ask for help, He helps us out of the water that is trying to kill us.
The scriptures don’t indicate this, but I imagine when Jesus pulled Peter back out of the water, Peter was walking hand-in-hand with the Lord and they walked on water back to the boat. Where are you at in this process? Are you watching Jesus and walking on water? Are you being drowned by the waves and the storm? Are you asking for help? Is Jesus pulling you out of the water again? Are you walking hand-in-hand with Him back to the boat? Are you sitting there reflecting upon how He saved you? What is it that you are learning in this process? How must you be humbled so you can walk on water again?