The ocean has a profound affect on me, and those who know me know that there is almost nothing I love so much as going down to the shore. I grew up making annual trips to the beach and learned both to delight in the wind and the surf and to respect the power and unpredictability of them.
So you will understand that one of my favorite moments in recorded history is when Jesus called Peter out of the boat to walk among the waves with Him. I’m grateful for Peter’s place in God’s story. It gives me so much hope. Peter was impetuous, sometimes awkward, and often beyond himself. And Jesus befriended him.
Out in a boat, in the midst of a storm, they saw Jesus coming toward them, walking on the water. (Matt 14:22-33) Well, they weren’t sure it was He, but Peter said, “Lord, if it is you, bid me come.” Now this is a fascinating thing for Peter to say, when you take time to think about it. Why didn’t he just say, “Help us, Jesus.” Or, “Hurry up, and get in the boat, the sea is rough.” No, Peter basically says, “I’d rather be out there with You than in here without You.” Don’t you love him? And the best part is when Jesus called to him to come, he didn’t hesitate. He got out of the boat and started walking on the water toward his friend and teacher.
Oh, sure, we all know the part about him losing focus and fixating on the rough seas and sinking. We know that Jesus had to take his hand and transport him to the boat. We know Jesus asked him this, “Why did you doubt?” But can’t you almost hear Him add with a little chuckle, “You were doing it, what happened?”?
I wonder if the other guys on that boat wished they had had the courage to step out of the boat. I wonder how often Peter replayed those moments in his mind over the years. I wonder if he ever wished for another chance. I wonder if he believed the rest of his life as a persecuted Christian that he was living that chance to please his Father and his Friend with ever increasing faith and running the race on the tops of the waves.
Peter reminds me that walking on the water is possible. Indeed, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Phil 4:13 NKJV) Peter responded to the Word of Jesus. He was more walking on that Word than he was challenging the laws of physics by walking on the water. We, too, can stand firm on the Word of God.
In this hour, when much is being shaken around us, when the fabric of our natural lives is being ripped and torn, we have a firm foundation. The Word of God is alive and active (Heb 4:12 NIV). Let’s hear the voice of the Lord today, and stand firm in this present darkness.
Father, you alone are God. We are merely your creation. When the world around us seems to shake and tremble, teach us to hear You saying, “I Am.” You are declaring yourself to us, and we want to respond to your word. You are calling us, and we want to have the faith to walk among the waves with you. Speak, Lord, your servants are listening. In Jesus’ name, amen.
There is one line in this song that always moves me: “trust without borders.” Think about the limitations you see in your life, whether circumstantial or relational, and cast them on the Lord whose care and grace are boundless and who is entirely trustworthy.
Until next week, walk with Him among the waves.
P.S. If you are not already involved in our Spring Bible Study, please see the Library menu on the left of your screen (or at the top of your mobile device). We would love for you to join us online as we study The Spirit of Adoption.