This Bible passage puzzles me. You know this story. Jesus has fed thousands of hungry people. Previously, their stomachs were probably growling! He sends them on their way… well-fed! The 12 disciples are in a boat on the Sea of Galilee, when a fierce storm blows through that canyon-like lake tossing them every which-way with water spraying all over. Jesus remains up on the hillside, keeping a careful eye on them. Finally, He comes toward His fearful and panicked disciples. Walking on the water!
What did you say? Walk on what? Those 12 really question what’s happening now. Wait a minute. That’s not a ghost or a monster. It’s Jesus! Really? Are you sure? First the storm. Now this! Can you imagine what Peter comes up with next? Peter wants Jesus to let him walk on water. Do what? Why?
Here’s what puzzles me. Why not ask Jesus to calm the storm? Why not beg for His help? I don’t know. I have the sneaking feeling that even he wasn’t sure. Except that he knew that Jesus would help.
That’s a good idea for us to hold onto today. And tomorrow as well. Jesus cares. He helps us. Peter steps out of the boat. Starts out fine. One step in front of the other. Looking straight at Jesus. Floating barefoot on whitecaps, on the Sea of Galilee! What a feeling!
But then he senses water up to his ankles, then his shins and knees. He gets nervous, looking here, there… and finally down. He falters…with that sinking feeling! Who hasn’t felt that? So, Peter cries out for help. Jesus catches him. Then our Lord, tenderly but firmly, speaks with Peter about his itsy-bitsy faith and those pesky doubts. Peter needs to do some ‘faith’ soul-searching.
I was wondering–what does the Lord needs to speak to me about? My easy worrying? Miniscule faith? How about you?
Peter learns a lesson or two. Like what? Little baby steps of faith will grow in Jesus’ hands, even in the face of devilish doubts and faltering faith. Let Him help. It’s what He does best. Peter probably thought he was quite strong, but he was all wet! Jesus will help us. He will speak with us. Like prodding us to be more than we are. More like who we were created to be, made in the image of God.
Interested in that? I am. Let’s journey together…with Jesus! I’m stepping out of the boat. Look up. Take His hand. His grip is firm. We can do it! ‘(We) can do all things through Christ…'(Philippians 4:13).
Prayer: Lord, we take your hand in ours. We may slip and fall at times, but we know you are always there to lift us up! In Jesus’ name. Amen.