Find the Savior in your storm

Peter responded and said to Him, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”  And He said, “Come!” And Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water, and came toward Jesus.  But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and when he began to sink, he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!”

-Matthew 14:28-30

 

A crowd awaited Jesus when He stepped out of the boat onto the shore of the sea. He had just learned of the beheading of his cousin, John the Baptist. He took a boat to a secluded place to mourn. But as always, He was hounded by the miracle-seekers.

They didn’t care about His pain. Probably no one asked about His loss. Moved by compassion, the Savior put the needs of the people before His own and healed them.

As the day dragged on, the crowd refused to leave. The disciples asked for permission to send them away, citing the late dinner hour. Jesus instead challenged them to feed the people themselves.

We all know the story. The disciples brought what they had to Jesus, and He multiplied their meager offering to feed the crowd. He sent the people away, commanded the disciples to cross the sea in the boat, and withdrew to pray.

But the day was not done.

While he prayed on the mountain, the weather turned foul on the sea. A storm battered the boat carrying the disciples. Jesus perceived the danger and went to them.

As the wind and the waves pitched their boat, Jesus emerged out of the tempest, walking on the water toward them. Not expecting to see Jesus crossing the sea without a boat, the disciples thought He was a ghost.

But Jesus called to them, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”

Peter, always the brash one, asked Jesus to call him out upon the water.

Jesus replied, “Come.”

Peter climbed out of the boat and joined Jesus on the waves. But the storm still raged under their feet. Overcome with fear and doubt, the disciple began to sink into the sea. The Lord pulled him to safety.

What was Peter expecting? Did he think the sea would simply calm because Jesus was with him?

The disciples watched the drama from the pitching boat, probably confused by the seeming contradiction. Why had they encountered such fierce weather, anyway, when they were only following Jesus’ command to cross the sea? Why were they suffering, when the crowd simply received their miracles and returned home healed and filled? 

They forgot they, too, received the answer to their prayers. They also learned a valuable lesson.

Peter was unprepared for facing his own vulnerability when he stepped toward the sound of Jesus’ voice. His mistake, of course, was to take his eyes off Jesus when he realized how far he moved out of his comfort zone. But still, by believing and obeying, Peter did the unthinkable. He walked on water. When he was overcome with doubt, he called out to God and was rescued out of his own failure.

Jesus took him back to the boat, stopped the wind, and took them all safely to the other side.

What important lesson did Peter learn?

Find the Savior in your storm, and never look away.

The applications for our own lives are many:

  • Don’t let our own sorrows keep us from seeing the needs of others.
  • Seek God in prayer always.
  • Dare to pray bold prayers, but be prepared for all that the answer may bring.
  • The closer we get to Jesus, the more our own frailty is revealed.
  • Obedience doesn’t always mean the journey will be smooth.
  • Don’t let fear warp our vision of the Christ.
  • Never take our eyes off the Savior.
  • Be assured we will always reach the other side safely.

What storm are you facing today? Are you content to stay in the boat and wait for deliverance? Or are you willing pray a bold prayer and walk upon the waves?

Whatever you do, wait for the Savior, keep your eyes on Him, and never look away.

 

 Immediately Jesus reached out with His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” 

-Matthew 14:31

 

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