Saturday, June 4, 2005

Matthew 14:29-30 – Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!" (NIV)

Some of my earliest memories are of visiting Doctor Wilson's surgery in Springburn, Glasgow, where I grew up. The outside window had a plain sign depicting the surgery hours, with two tall glass bottles (one red, the other blue) at either side. When one walked into the surgery, the air was full of antiseptic smells, which added a sense of mystery to the whole place.

The waiting room was square, with benches all around the oak-panelled walls. As one entered, the first question one had to ask was, "Who's last?" You knew then that it would be your turn to enter the doctor's office directly after whoever answered. There was no need for tickets or appointments; one just appeared and waited for one's turn to be seen.

Doctor Wilson was ancient. He had a gentle round face, with steel-rimmed glasses propped at the end of his nose. He had one of the best smiles I can ever remember, and he made each of his patients feel very special. He sat next to an old writing bureau, where he wrote out all his prescriptions using a steel-nibbed pen, with ink from a bottle.

On the wall above his desk were an eye chart and an old painting depicting a biblical scene. There was a boat with fishermen on it, dark clouds in the sky, and fierce waves all around them. A man looked as though he was panicking in the waves, and he was desperately reaching up to another man, who was standing serenely above the waves. It was, of course, Peter and Jesus, but what was that picture doing in my doctor's office?

Years later, I realized that the picture was a symbol of the great work Doctor Wilson did in our community. He was there to help men, women, and children who were overwhelmed with sickness and disease, cancer and suffering. As the years sped by and my mother's debilitating sickness took away her health and sanity, Doctor Wilson was always there for us, ensuring that my dad and all our family did not sink into the waters of despair and depression, and that the storms of insanity and schizophrenia did not overwhelm us.

No matter what we go through today, Christ will be there for us, lifting us up and helping us out. The storms of this life cannot overcome His power or love. When we are sinking and we need Him, Christ will be there to offer us His hand.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, You are the Saviour of our souls and the One Who delivers us from despair. Whenever we face trouble or are threatened with turmoil, You are ready, willing, and able to help us from all that harms us. Be with us today, and if we experience pressure, stress, or fear, hold out Your hand to us, and enable us to rise above our troubles. In Your holy name, we pray. Amen.

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John Stuart <>
Knoxville, Tennessee, USA

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