Often I think we forget that the “super heroes” of our faith (i.e. David, Peter, Paul, etc.) were just normal men that an extraordinary God transformed and used to change nations and the world. Sometimes I read Scripture and begin to compare myself to the men I read about there. Peter is one person I can relate to as he and I both share the special art of inserting our foot squarely in to our own mouths.
In the Scripture we see the disciples out on the Sea of Galilee crossing to the other side. The men in the boat, with several expert fishermen who spent their lives on this body of water, fighting and struggling against the wind and waves. During this struggle, the disciples are alarmed as they see what they think is a ghost walking on the water. The ghost turns out not be a ghost at all, it’s Jesus!
In the midst of the wind and waves, as the disciples were filled with fear at the unknown, Jesus calls out to them “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” (Matthew 14:27) As Peter so often does, he makes a bold deceleration: “Lord, if it is you… tell me to come out on the water.” As Jesus often does, He tells Peter: “come”.
What happens next is miraculous. Peter (outside of Jesus) becomes the only man in history to walk on water. Imagine his heart beating intensely as he steps out of the boat on to the water. Imagine the exhilaration as he begins to walk towards Jesus. It is in the midst of the winds, waves, and fear that Jesus calls to Peter, and Peter comes. Sometimes I am quick to judge Peter because what happens next: But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me! (Matthew 14:30 NIV).
For just a moment in this incredible moment, Peter fails in his fear. It could have all ended here for Peter. He could have drown, he could have felt unsure of himself for the rest of his life, he could have tried to turn around and get back to the boat. But it is in this moment, as he desperately cries out “save me” that we see Jesus remain faithful. Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” (Matthew 14:31).
Here is the application in my own life: there are times where the winds, waves, and fear will come. In those moments I hear and see Jesus calling me through the storm. Sometimes I get distracted by the storm so much so that for a brief moment I take my eyes of Jesus and begin to sink in hopeless despair. Time and time again I cry out “Jesus, save me!” and the most amazing thing happens… He does.
Today I don’t know what storm you are facing, don’t give up hope. The same Peter who sank because of his fear for the wind and waves is the same Peter the Holy Spirit empowered to take the Gospel throughout the Roman empire. Today if you are “sinking”, cry out to Jesus… “Lord, save me!” and know that He alone truly can.