“Jesus!” Peter shouted through the drenching rain and pounding waves. “Jesus! If that’s really you…tell me to come to you on the water!” Peter squinted through raindrops at the glowing Figure walking over the waves with confident steps, and listened for His Voice. He didn’t have to wait long.
“Come on!” Jesus yelled with a grin, motioning him over.
Peter didn’t hesitate.
“Are you CRAZY?! Peter, only Jesus can do stuff like that! Don’t do it!” The other disciples yelled over the wind and water-crashes, but Peter either didn’t hear or didn’t care. He was already jumping out of the boat.
Peter half-expected a splash on the other side, but to his shock and wonder, the water was firm under his feet! He was a little unsteady at first, with the giant waves and all, but solidly on top of the water and not under it, which was pretty…unbelievable! His whole body trembling, Peter began carefully walking toward Jesus. With a storm like this, being near Jesus was the safest place to be—even if that meant out of the boat, walking on water to get to Him.
But somewhere, maybe half the distance between Jesus and the boat, Peter got his “sea-legs,” and suddenly realized this was an Instagram moment if there ever was one! The guys in the boat better be watching this! Nobody else could say they walked on…
Peter looked back toward Jesus—but a huge wave came up between them, and suddenly he realized again that he was in the middle of a raging storm…walking on water. Fear overtook faith, and in that instant, he sank.
Between gasps of air, desperately trying to keep his head above the waves crashing around him, Peter cried out…
“LORD…bring the boat over here!” Wait, no, that wasn’t it.
“LORD…make the waves smaller so I can swim!” Nope, that doesn’t sound right either.
“LORD…just let me go peacefully!” Definitely not that one.
“LORD…SAVE ME!” Yes, that’s the one. And his cry was answered swiftly with the strong hand of Jesus reaching down and pulling him back up on the water right next to Him, where he belonged.
Maybe Peter and Jesus just sort of stood there for a breathless moment in the middle of the raging storm, Peter’s eyes locked on Jesus. Jesus looked at him with a compassionate smile, and maybe shook his head a little. “Peter. Where’s your faith? Why did you doubt?”
Then they walked, together, back to the boat and joined the others, and the storm was over.
Maybe this is you. You’re out on the water, doing things you never dreamed possible because you are willing to follow Jesus wherever He goes. But then there’s that moment of pride, perhaps, or doubt—doubt that God can really use you. You know who you really are, all your weaknesses, and they’re no match for this storm, much less gravity. And suddenly, gravity wins and pulls you under. What are you praying for in that sinking moment? Are you spending your precious little time and energy thinking up all the options of how God should come through for you? Are you worrying about giving Jesus enough ideas on how to help you out of this crazy situation? Or are you down to those last three words: “LORD, SAVE ME!” Because when you’re down to those three words, Jesus will be there. He will pull you up, back up on top of the water, right next to Him, where you belong.
It’s ok to think and problem-solve, but recognize your limitations. Recognize Who invited you to jump out of the boat, Who gives you the power to walk on water, and Who knows best how to save you when you sink. The sooner you surrender to His plan—which may not include any of the options you are giving Him—the sooner you will find yourself rescued with His own strong hand just when you need it.
*This story is based on Matt.14:22-33.
**About every other week, we send out a short devotional to our volunteers. This was written by Andrea Keele, and sent on March 30, 2015.