Filters can be a wonderful idea when it comes to photos. I mean I’m a photographer, as a side gig, and when you have multiple kids running around during the shoot there is a good chance your lighting can get off and that is where the glorious filter comes in to save the day. It corrects all the under or over exposed images, to create something beautiful that families want to hang on their walls for years to come. In the same way that the filters I use for my photos cover the entire photo, nothing is missed, the filters that we color our lives with are shaping every experience we go through.
Recently I was reading a book and the author read through the story of Peter walking on water. I grew up in church my whole life. I know this story and have heard it more times than I can count, but this time it was different. Read through this scripture with me, but this time I want you to put yourself in the shoes or sandals of Peter.
Matthew 14: 28-32 28 And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29 He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” 31 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.
How would have you felt if you were Peter? When I put myself in Peter’s place I feel the shame of failing. I hear the voice of Jesus reprimanding Peter almost as though He is saying “I knew you couldn’t do it by yourself, do I have to do everything around here?” If I’m being honest that is how I have always read this story, like Peter failed. I realize now that is due to the fact that I have a filter on my life and that filter is the shame of not being perfect. Every story I read and experience I have is put through this filter. That can sound super depressing, but there is an upside to knowing what your filter is. You can take it off, but you can’t do that unless you are willing to admit what it is. Did you figure out your filter? If so let’s try an experiment. Put your filter to the side and let’s reread this story again.
Matthew 14: 28-32 28 And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29 He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” 31 Jesus IMMEDIATELY reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.
Did you catch the word immediately? I hope so since I capitalized it and made it bold! I did that for a reason. I don’t think Matthew used this word by mistake. Jesus immediately reaches out his hand, he didn’t roll his eyes, sigh or even give him a withering stare. Jesus without hesitation reached out his hand to lift Peter out of the water. Did you catch that? The rescue came first! Then after rescuing Peter, Jesus talked with him. Previously when I read the words of Jesus I thought he was upset, but now I realize he was speaking in love. I believe he wanted Peter to know that he did have enough faith to follow in his footsteps. I think Jesus could have also said “Peter, why did you become afraid? I was with you the whole time.” Speaking in such a way that Peter knew Jesus was for him and wanting to encourage him.
The story changes dramatically when I take my filter off. That makes me wonder what situations in my own life did I filter through my lens of perfection? I’m sure there were times when a friend spoke to me and I took it as they were mad or that I messed up, but if I could go back to those moments would that be what truly happened, or did I filter their response into what I remember today? I know that it is not an easy task to continually remove that filter, but here I am trying every day to chip away at my filter and see the raw picture underneath.
I pray that this blog today was an encouragement to you and can help in your daily life. Always know I am available to pray with you or just be someone to talk to when life gets hard. E-mail me at email@example.com if you need prayer!
Talk to you next Monday!