The boat was far out to sea when the wind came up against them and they were battered by the waves. At about four o’clock in the morning, Jesus came toward them walking on the water. They were scared out of their wits. “A ghost!” they said, crying out in terror. But Jesus was quick to comfort them. “Courage, it’s me. Don’t be afraid.” Peter, suddenly bold, said, “Master, if it’s really you, call me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come ahead.” Jumping out of the boat, Peter walked on the water to Jesus. But when he looked down at the waves churning beneath his feet, he lost his nerve and started to sink. He cried, “Master, save me!” Jesus didn’t hesitate. He reached down and grabbed his hand.
Much has been said about this fascinating story, which is found in three of the four gospel accounts. I've been thinking about it in light of the many in our church family who find themselves in the midst of a storm right now. Many among us are facing health issues, family crisis, or relational tensions. We've been pushing through for so long that we're exhausted and we aren't sure if we can keep going. Each day we wake up and look at the waves churning around us. Our nerves are frayed and we feel like we're sinking. In short, we can relate to Peter being overwhelmed by the storm. We love Jesus and we've been trying to follow his call, but right now we feel like we're drowning.
I hope and pray the beauty and simplicity of Peter's cry to Jesus will inspire you today. And the immediate heart of the saviour will give you hope. "Master, save me!" is met by a hand that helps Peter make it through the storm. If you read the entire story you'll see that the storm is eventually calmed, but not right away. In the moment of terror the hand of Jesus, in response to the cry of a desperate man, comes to simply help through the storm.
The storm around you is real. And so is the saviour who is walking with you in it. May we each have the humility to turn our eyes away from the churning waves towards him. May we have the confidence to daily (maybe hourly) call out to him and hold tightly on to him while he walks us safely through it - however long that may be.
You know my tendency to do everything else before I ask you to save me. I try to swim until I'm exhausted and can barely breathe. I look to my friends on the boat and call out to them asking for a life ring. I beg you to simply calm the storm so that I can make it on my own without as much struggle. Jesus, I'm turning to you - desperate. Please save me. Help me hold on to you and keep my eyes on you in this storm. And, as I do so, may the very real struggle fade into the background of my focus because I know you've got me. I need this if I'm going to make it. Thanks for entering into this storm with me, holding me tight, and offering me rest in you.