“And straightaway Jesus constrained His disciples to get into a ship, and to go before Him unto the other side, while He sent the multitudes away. And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up into a mountaintop apart to pray: and when the evening was come, He was there alone.
But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.
And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a spirit;” And they cried out for fear.
But straightaway Jesus spake unto them, saying, “Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.”
And Peter answered Him and said; “Lord, if it be Thou, bid me come unto Thee on the water.”
And He said, “Come.”
And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.
But when He saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, “Lord, save me!”
And immediately Jesus stretched forth His hand, and caught Him, and said unto Him, “O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?”
And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased.
Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped Him, saying, “Of a truth Thou art the Son of God.”
Wow! How incredible is that?! Can you even imagine being there? Seeing this with your own two eyes? Or better yet… imagine being Peter! Walking on the water, out to meet Jesus. This is truly an incredible story… but even better than that, it’s not just a story! This actually happened, and was recorded, so that now we can read about it today.
But what can we learn from this? How does this apply to my life? Does it even?
Well, let’s take a step back and look at this for a minute.
Imagine being Peter. Taking that first step out of the boat, eyes and mind totally fixed on Jesus. Not even aware that there is a storm raging around you. And you take that step. You step towards Him.
But then you notice something out of the corner of your eye. Instead of keeping your focus completely on Jesus, you look away for a second. Just one second. But that’s all it takes.
You realize that you are standing on the top of a raging sea, in the middle of a fierce storm. You totally forget that Jesus has brought you safely thus far, and will help you the rest of the way to His open arms. But instead, you focus on the wind. On the waves that are threatening to knock you down.
When I read this passage, this all sounded strangely familiar.
I have been in this same situation.
Of course, I have never walked out on top of the water in the middle of a raging storm, but think about it for a minute.
Jesus has called us to come to Him. To follow wherever He leads. To take that first step out of the boat. And we do. We step out into the storm, unafraid, because our minds are set on what He has called us to do, and our eyes are completely fixed on Him.
So we step out. Out into the storm. All around us, the winds of fear and doubt are yelling in our ears. But we don’t hear them, because our minds are fixed on Him. The waves of depression and the chaos of the world are crashing on every side. But they have not touched us.
In the middle of the fiercest storm, we are at perfect peace, because we are totally concentrated on Him alone.
But then you notice that one little thing out of the corner of your eye. Something that distracts you just enough to take your eyes off of Him for only a second. Just a second. But that is enough.
That one little distraction leads to another, and before you know it, you are in the middle of a raging storm, and you don’t know how to escape it.
Even though Help is standing right in front of you.
The winds, they roar in your ears. The waves, they crash down on you, threatening to take you. You grope around in the darkness for any means of escape, but you can find none. The storm is overwhelming you.
And then you begin to sink.
The waves, they trap you, and begin to bring you down.
“Lord save me!”
You cry out to Him from the utter hopelessness, and there He is. He was right there the whole time. You just weren’t looking at Him. He grasps hold of your hand, and lifts you up. Up out of the lies, out of the despair, the hopelessness, the fear, the depression. He holds you, and once again you set your eyes on Him.
“Why didn’t you trust Me?”
The words are gentle, but firm. You don’t know what to say. But He knows. He knows what is going on in your heart.
“I’m so sorry, Lord. Please help me. Help me to keep my eyes on You. Help me to trust You.”
And He will!
He knows. He knows how weak we are. How the world is screaming for our attention… and it would be so easy to just look away for a second. He knows. And He WILL help you! He has the strength, and will carry us through it. If only we will ask, and just keep our eyes fixed on Him.
“And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.”
2 Corinthians 12:9a
Yes, we are so, so weak. But He is infinitely strong. Why do we worry about the storm, when the Storm Stiller is standing right in front of us?
Let us trust Him, dear Believer! Let’s fix our eyes, minds, and hearts on Him alone. And He will give the strength to step out into the storm.
Because He will be right beside us every step of the way.