Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Walking on the Sea

Following the Savior’s miraculous feeding of the five thousand with five loaves and two fishes, He compels His disciples to go into their ship as He personally sees to it that the multitude disperses.

These two simple acts help me better understand Jesus’s love.

Concerned for the weariness of His disciples, He sends His “children” bed, and continuing His outpouring of compassion - healing and feeding the multitude - Jesus personally sends them home.

Finally, with a night of solitude ahead, Jesus goes up into a mountain to pray.

However, the night wasn’t calm and peaceful for those He had sent to bed. For most of the night, the sea tossed and turned. And the disciples struggled “at their oars,” as the winds were contrary to everything they could offer.

For hours the disciples toiled. Not exactly the night of solitude as the Savior had on the mountain.
And sometime around 3:00 – 6:00 in the morning, during the “fourth watch,” the fatigued disciples see Something walking on the roiling waves.Walking. Not stumbling. Not struggling. Not faltering. But, walking on the water.

Needless to say, the disciples were terrified.

Was it a ghost? A spirit? Or maybe, because of the long night, they were all hallucinating together!

And then they heard His voice.

Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.

To which Peter answered, “Lord, if it be Thou, bid me come unto Thee on the water.”

I want to stop right there for just a moment. I find it significant that at that moment – after four or six or nine hours of being tossed by the sea - Peter does not say, “Lord, if it be Thou, stop the storm!” Instead, Peter asks to walk on the untamed water with Him.

And with one word, Peter’s desire is granted.

And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.

Up until this week, I have always thought Peter to be the only person to have ever walked on water.

But I don’t think that is so true anymore.

For just a few, unwavering moments, Peter no longer cared how fierce the storm was. No longer did he care how tired and scared he had been. No, for a few moments, Peter knew, with certainty, that if he would fix His eye on the Savior, he would be filled with whatever he needed to walk on water.

I am learning that this is true. An eye single to His glory fills us with light when there is darkness. An eye single to His glory fills us with faith when there is doubt. An eye single to His glory fills us with understanding when there is confusion.

Along that same time, I think it's equally important to remember that the story of Peter also illustrates to those who “Come” and those who walk, they will inevitably begin sink. I think it’s part of the law of gravity and certainly the law of being natural creatures.

Truth is, I sink more than I have felt the desire to walk on water. But the beautiful part of this story is that immediately, after Peter cried out, Jesus stretched forth His hand to catch him.

I know He does the same for me.

Afraid, I ask.

He beckons, I walk.

I fall, He stretches.

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