This summer I had the immense pleasure of visiting the Sea of Galilee in Israel. Gazing out over the blue haze, lush trees, and massive blue lake, all I could think about was Jesus and Peter.
The disciples had gone out on the boat late one evening and ended up getting caught in a storm on the sea. Jesus came out to meet them.
But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”
And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you command me to come to you on the water. He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. – Matthew 14:26-29
Reading this recently, new things came to my attention:
First of all, Peter’s boldness leapt of fthe page at me. A storm was raging all around them and the disciples see a man walking on the water. They panic and fear that a ghost is coming towards them. Of course, we know that it isn’t a ghost. It’s Jesus Christ. But Peter’s response blows my mind.
He asks the Lord to prove his identity by allowing Peter to walk out on the water.
He is asking Jesus to prove that it really is Him, and second, he is asking Jesus to allow him to walk on the water in the middle of the storm.
And Jesus says yes.
I cannot imagine what was going through Peter’s mind when the Lord called out to him. If I were in his place, I don’t know if I would be more excited or terrified. I remember being a kid and convinced that if I took off running fast enough that I could run across our pool. Where I got this notion, I don’t have a clue. Maybe I figured that if Jesus would let Peter walk across the sea maybe he would let me. It didn’t work, obviously, but that’s beside the point. Besides, I had to give it a shot.
How many of you have been called by Jesus to come through a storm? Or how many of you are going through a storm right now, and you are calling out to Jesus begging for His hand? Are you like Peter in the boat in the midst of the storm asking God to let you get out and walk on the water along with Him?
There was a storm raging all around Peter, but he was bold enough to ask Jesus to let him come out there on the water. I don’t know if it was arrogance, curiosity, or desire, but Peter didn’t want to be in the boat. Peter wanted to be with Jesus even if He was standing in the middle of a turbulent sea.
Jesus granted him permission. Jesus called him out and Jesus gave him the ability to WALK ON WATER in the midst of a raging storm. Peter didn’t pick a calm day to go skipping along the pond; he picked a day when the wind was raging and the waves were churning. But this shows Jesus’ power even more. Jesus was there in the midst of the storm. Jesus called out to Peter. He told him to come.
In the middle of your storms to you hear God saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid”? Or are you mistaking Him for a ghost and cowering in fear?
Many of you know what happens next to Peter. He takes his eyes off Jesus, and he falls into the water.
But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” – Matthew 14:30
Is this you right now? Are you paying more attention to the wind around you than your Savior in front of you? Are you ignoring the man who died for you and paying attention to all the noise and distractions from the storms in your life. Are you allowing the waves of life to overtake you? If so, it’s time to cry out to God and ask him to help you just as Peter did to Jesus.
Jesus immediately reached out His hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” – Matthew 14:31
Are you doubting God in the midst of your storm? Are you paying more attention to the problem than your Lord?
Storms are inevitable in life, but how we handle them can make a difference of the outcome. We can try to row our way through life’s storms getting hammered constantly by the rain and the winds, or we can choose to look toward out Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He is there in the midst of the storm. All we have to do is have faith in Him. There is no room for doubt in your relationship with God. When doubt comes in, that’s when you start to sink. Have faith in Jesus Christ and maybe you too can walk on the water of your storm. Your storm might not go away immediately, but you know that you’ve got someone with you every step of the way.
Don’t take your eyes off of Him.