While praying in circles is most productive, running in circles is an exercise in futility.
To run in circles is nothing but a waste of time, will get us nowhere, and is an aimless activity. We tend to run in circles when we take our focus off of the One who has the solution, Christ, and take things into our own hands. And this brought to mind Peter …
In a boat, far from land, a strong wind kicks up and the storm begins. Scripture tells us “they were fighting heavy waves” (Matthew 14: 24, NLT). Jesus begins to walk on the water toward the boat.
“When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified … Then Peter called out to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.” (verse 28)
With his eyes, fixed on Jesus, Peter was filled with both courage and faith to do the impossible. And Jesus responds, “Yes, come” (verse 29).
Peter immediately goes over the side of the boat and does something I would bet he has never done before – he walks on water. But then he takes his eyes off of Jesus, probably for a split second as he notices the strong wind and the waves. Fear fills him and he begins to sink.
That is so us. We begin to take strides toward reaching our dream. Our eyes are focused and we follow His lead. But then a bump in the road happens and we take our eyes off of the One who is leading and doubts assail us. They fill our hearts and our minds begin to question if we truly heard right at the start. Or perhaps it is the question, “Who do you think you are even daring to have that dream?” And the dream begins to fade, perhaps die even. Much like Peter, we begin to doubt our ability to even continue.
Jesus asks the hard question … “Why did you doubt me?” (verse 31)
The word “doubt” (from Greek distazo) suggests the idea of trying to go in two different directions at once. (The New American Commentary, Vol. 22. Matthew, page 235)
Peter desired to keep walking towards Jesus and yet his fear caused him to want to go back to the safety which the boat provided. We do much the same thing at times in life. We desire to continue pursuing our dreams and yet at times, we doubt ourselves and go back.
In those times, when we find ourselves retreating rather than moving forward, may we like Peter cry out, “Lord, save me!” (verse 30)
He will be faithful to reach out and take our hand to keep us going.
May we not keep running in circles.
This is Day 9 of 31 Days Of Going In Circles. You can find the entire series here .