Sometimes life feels like I'm sinking in the waves. One more problem will be the end of me for sure. Like when the power went out for a week in the hurricane, I actually had a meltdown when it went out the second time. My husband accidentally stepped on my boom box... and Eeek! At the end of my rope, I whimpered to God, "Please turn the power back on. Nothing is impossible for You."
My husband and I put on our hoodie sweatshirts, and snuggled in bed. Then late that night the lights, heat, and electric blanket came on : ) So I whispered my thanks to God. I don't know how the people that are still displaced from the storm can handle it. I'll keep praying.
Then there's the times when I'm running on top of the waves. Opportunities open and nothing seems impossible. But, it's the time in the waves that makes me seek the Lord and pray harder. I don't like problems at all. When they're solved, it sure is great. Yeah, faith stretchers are good for me. I admit it.
Peter, by nature, knew about having his faith stretched. You gotta give him credit though, he wasn't afraid to ask.
After Jesus fed 5,000 people on the mountain, He realized they were ready to force Him to be their King. He came to be the King of kings, not just a king for one generation. So, He went by himself to a mountain at night. (John 6:15)
We can all relate to the need to get away and be alone. The disciples were not sure what to do. So, as time passed they chose to get in a boat and join Him.
16 Now when evening came, His disciples went down to the sea, 17 got into the boat, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was already dark, and Jesus had not come to them. 18 Then the sea arose because a great wind was blowing. 19 So when they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near the boat; and they were afraid.
The disciples must've been worried about Jesus. They didn't quite grasp how Jesus could be God's Son yet. So, for them, a missing Master was a big deal. Their nerves were probably frazzled, a storm came with high winds (we know about that in New Jersey). Sometimes trying to save someone seems so impossible.
Then a man came toward them walking on top of the water. I can see Peter whispering, "Do you see that?" wondering if he lost his mind. Peter was ALWAYS the first one to speak...
"You see it too?"
"I see it. How can it be? Who is it?"
I think Jesus was enjoying his walk through the storm, reflecting on His time alone. Maybe the rise and fall of the waves beneath His feet brought a smile. Nothing like His Father's sea spray to perk up the senses. I have no doubt He wasn't afraid.
48 Then He saw them straining at rowing, for the wind was against them. Now about the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea, and would have passed them by. 49 And when they saw Him walking on the sea, they supposed it was a ghost, and cried out; 50 for they all saw Him and were troubled. But immediately He talked with them and said to them, "Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid."
The fourth watch of the night would've been near daybreak. Each night was divided into 4 watches where soldiers would stand guard to protect the cities. I can totally understand why the disciples thought He was a ghost and got scared. If it were 2012 and Jesus walked toward me on water, I might cry out, "Go away! What are you?"
But Jesus reassured them, "It's Me, don't be afraid."
Peter had to make absolutely sure this was really Jesus. So he came up with a test...
28 And Peter answered Him and said, "Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water."
29 So He said, "Come." And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. 30 But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, "Lord, save me!"
Peter actually got to walk on the water! How cool is that? I would love to take my camera for a walk with Jesus on the water : ) Can you imagine the photos you'd get? I do ask Him to show me where the good shots are when I shoot on land... hope it's not cheating.
I imagine Peter as a large man, with big muscles from pulling in fishing nets. So, for him, getting scared isn't a normal feeling. Jesus would've known that. He knows our weaknesses and strengths. Maybe this was a way for Him to get Peter out of his confident life and into faith.
31 And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?" 32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.
Jesus showed compassion. He didn't leave Peter out there floundering in the waves. He reached out and pulled him into the boat. The wind quit blowing.
33 Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, "Truly You are the Son of God."
The disciples saw another glimpse of Jesus, the Son of God, the King of kings. He holds His nail scarred hand out to us today. Waiting for us to have the faith to accept it. He's there in our storms and in our successes. He is always with us.
Here's another great song by Chris Tomlin, Whom shall I fear? (link) .
It's so encouraging to see many Christian musicians doing concerts to help those who received damage from Superstorm Sandy. New Jersey residents, Bruce Springsteen (The Boss), and Bon Jovi are also doing concerts to help out. Several other musicians will be joining them 12-12-12, in NYC (including Paul McCartney). I hope Bruce sings, "My city of ruins." He wrote a wonderful prayer in it. He sang it after 9-11.
Still praying homes will be restored. And for peace in Jerusalem.