I’ve been reading and thinking a lot about Peter lately. Poor Peter. He gets picked on so often. Admittedly, he stuck his foot in his mouth quite often. In fact, he seemed to have a big problem with not letting his thoughts pass through his brain before they came out of his mouth. He spoke before he thought, and that landed him in trouble more than once. But Peter, despite his faults, was a great man, and many valuable lessons can be learned from both his good and his bad traits. Take, for example, his walking on the water.
And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. – Matthew 14:28-29
When we think of Peter walking on the water, what’s the first thing that comes to our mind? He sank. Why? Why do we only concentrate on the negative? Why isn’t our first thought, Yes, Peter was the only one to step out of the boat? It’s the truth, isn’t it? I don’t recall any account of the other disciples daring to step foot out of the boat. Do you? No, but Peter did.
Max Lucado puts it this way: “Peter is not testing Jesus; he is pleading with Jesus. Stepping onto a stormy sea is not a move of logic; it is a move of desperation.”
Ask yourself this question: Would Peter have gotten out of the boat if he hadn’t been in the midst of a terrible storm? Would Jesus have come walking on the water? I don’t think so. The events unfolded as they did because of the storm. And sometimes a storm is just what we need to get us out of the boat.
You see, when everything is going hunky dory, it’s easy to take our eyes off God. We get busy living our lives, and we forget to take the time to thank Him for all He’s done in our lives. We replace faith with logic. We do what feels right instead of seeking counsel from our Heavenly Father. Before long, we’ve made a mess of our lives. God doesn’t want that. He has a plan for each of us, and He doesn’t want to see us make a mess of it. That’s why He sends storms.
Storms help us to see the precariousness of our situation. They open our eyes to the dangers around us. They remind us that our works and efforts offer as much resistance to the storm as an old fishing boat. They redirect our vision back to the only One who can save us from ourselves. And in that desperation, they give us the strength we need to step out on faith.
Are you facing a storm today? If so, don’t be afraid. Look to the Master. He’s reaching out His hand. Take that first step out of the boat, and whatever you do, keep your eyes on Him. He’ll keep you afloat.
Peter displayed his faith in God by stepping out of the boat. In what ways can you display your faith?