But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.
The word “fore” in the game of golf has been used to shout out a warning for nearly 200 years. One explanation claims that “fore” is a shortened version of “forecaddie”. The forecaddies were used as the golfer’s “ball spotters” as they went ahead to an area before the ball was struck in order to prevent the loss of the golf ball. Many courses still employ forecaddies to expedite play so golfers won’t have to spend a considerable time looking for lost balls. Today, golfers shout out “fore” in order to warn other golfers of an oncoming and possibly wayward ball. The weird thing about shouting “fore” is that the only person who yells the warning really knows to whom the warning is addressed. When “fore” is heard, one can see all golfers within the earshot ducking and diving behind golf carts. It really wouldn’t matter what word the golfer shouts because any yelling on the course draws the attention of everyone.
The shout of the believer is unmistakably and undeniably to our Savior because we know He is our only source of dependency and reliance. When we need cleansing, it is to God to whom we direct our shout. It is to God to whom we shout for praise and worship because we realize His reliability.
The believer’s shout to the Almighty also serves as an urgent warning to everyone else. It is a warning to our enemies and an alert to action to all those around us. “Fore” has to be exclaimed quickly because the flight time for an errant hard object is relatively limited. The coach shouts out instructions to his or her players because of immediacy and the crowd noise. Similarly, the believer realizes his or her current emergent need and knows to whom to shout.
Peter, in Matthew 14, had experienced the greatness of God’s presence. Accordingly, when the winds picked up and he began to sink, Peter knew to whom to shout for help. He knew the time of action was limited. Peter’s need had become urgent. Our faith is many times like that of Peter. Because of our own separation from God, it is not until fear and trouble is manifested do we shout out our need. We know He who stands at the ready and is capable of assisting in our time of need.
When God appears and acts in our life, we are led to shout and proclaim His glory because it is only He who was able to bring forth our deliverance. It is unmistakable to those around us because they may have offered their humanly assistance to us many times to no avail. However, the shout to the Heavenly Father fully and wholly healed in our time of need.
Recall when the fierce winds of our world were swirling and we were sinking in our own sin. The convicting Spirit unmistakably led us through Jesus to the Father for salvation. We knew the immediacy of our need and realized the buoys of the world were insufficient for this saving. Just as in Matthew 14:31,32, Jesus stretched forth his hand and everything calmed in our life. This year will bring forth its share of winds and the feeling of sinking. It was Jesus who offered himself as a perfect sacrifice that we may become reconciled. He not only realized our need, but He knew exactly to whom His sacrifice was directed. Let us to continually shout our praise of thankfulness and alert those around us who are in danger.