Storm or Jesus?
Even in the storm, Peter loved Jesus. There’s no doubt about that. He talked a good game too, even saying he’d rather die than to deny Jesus.
But we know how that ended.
In his defense, though, he DID cut off that guard’s ear when he tried to arrest Jesus.
But we know how that ended too.
Wanting To Be Like Jesus
Reading through the Gospels, it’s easy to see how much Peter wanted to be right in Jesus’ footsteps. When Jesus asked Peter who people said that he was, Peter answered easily enough, and truthfully too. But then Jesus asked him who HE thought he was.
The answer was simple.
And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
He knew who He was. And this is never so evident as when Jesus came walking towards the boat Peter was in. On the water. In the middle of a raging storm.
At first, they didn’t believe it was Him! They thought it was a spirit. So Peter called out, “Lord, if it’s You, bid me come unto you” (my paraphrasing…) (Matthew 14:28). And that’s just what Jesus did!
Getting Out Of The Boat Is Easy
I have to imagine how excited Peter was! Can you imagine? Jesus calls you out of the boat and right onto the water. At first, you’re skeptical, because it defies all human logic. You throw your foot over the edge, and sure enough, the water holds fast!
Now you’re even more excited! Look what Jesus has let me do! Look at the miracle He is performing in my life! For a split second, the storm isn’t even a factor, and Peter starts towards his beloved Master and Teacher.
Maybe it was a crash of lightening. Maybe it was the ear-shattering thunder crack. Perhaps the rain began to feel like tiny shards of glass piercing the skin on his face. Or maybe it was a combination of the whole of the storm.
We don’t know exactly what it was that made him turn his eyes away from Jesus at, quite possibly, one of the most crucial points in his life.
But he did.
Lord, Save Me!
The Bible tells us that in his fear, Peter began to sink into the water. He cried out, as I’m sure we would, “Lord, save me!”
Jesus immediately snatched him up, rebuked his lack of faith and asked why he doubted.
Now, again, I have an imagination of how the scene went down. It’s a different imagination for me, now that I’m older. When I was younger and read that verse, I imagined a very pious and “Holy” Jesus, brimming with anger at a servant who didn’t follow through with what his master had instructed.
That scene, in my mind, has changed though, now that I’ve come to know Jesus on a more personal level. I think, a lot of times, we put an unnecessary separation between ourselves and our Saviour, by making Him – at least in our minds – too Holy to love us like He does.
No, I can almost see Jesus laughing, having known beforehand what would happen. I imagine as he took Peter’s hand, he was shaking his head with a smile on His face. Oh Peter, why did you doubt me?
We’ve Done It
How many times have we let our own children undertake something we knew they weren’t quite ready for? I know I have. Not for the purpose of seeing them fail, but rather to let them realize only what true experience will allow them to realize.
Some things are better taught than told.
Jesus knew Peter would succumb to the waves. But He also knew He would be there to catch Him. And to remind him he doesn’t need to be faithless when the next time comes.
However, before Jesus’ death on the cross, there wasn’t the Holy Spirit to give Peter the boldness and power that was yet to come.
He still had some growing up to do!
Our Storms Are No Different
What is your storm? What threatens to drown you? No, not rush hour traffic or a flat tire or a bad hair day.
I mean, what really threatens to drown you? Takes your breath and inner strength away when you think about it? Everyone has that something.
- Lost loved ones?
- A marriage that’s on its last leg?
- A life threatening illness in your body or the body of someone you love?
Whatever your storm is, Jesus is still waiting there to snatch you up when you sink. More so now than ever. But we have something Peter didn’t, at that particular time in his relationship with Jesus.
The Holy Spirit. The power from on high. And the shed blood of Jesus.
Take What Is Rightfully Yours
It’s been a long time since that fateful day on the sea. But the storm is still raging, isn’t it? Sometimes I stare too long at it myself and find myself crying out from beneath another wave, “Lord, save me!”
The great news is that we can speak to that storm now! Let Jesus be now, as He’s always been, bigger than the storm that threatens you! You are a child of God, a joint-heir with Christ Jesus, able to come boldly to the throne of grace to receive mercy through His shed blood.
Let’s not let the storm swallow us up any longer. We don’t have to! Jesus is so much more than a quick salvation fix. God forbid we only look to Him for salvation and nothing else. Don’t get me wrong, we’d be headed for a sinner’s hell without the salvation that He paid for, but He did so much more…
No, let Him be bigger than an hour-long Sunday service. Let Him be your Monday through Saturday life force!
Speak Jesus, Not The Storm
There is only one Name that will save us…JESUS! The Name that is above all Names!
I hear so many people speaking only about their storm that it breaks my heart sometimes. We hear about the trips to the doctor, the “unanswered” prayers, the lost children, the jobs that are lost or never found in the first place.
Now let me say here, sometimes there’s nothing wrong with talking about your troubles and trials and all the things the enemy is using like a battering ram against you. But you’d better make sure that you’re talking to someone who will lift that up in prayer and not take up a place of speaking even more defeat over you.
There’s a difference between that friend or loved one that will take what you say and place it before the King of Kings and one that will pick up the phone and call someone else to say, “Have you heard what [whoever you are] is going through? It’s awful, [fill in the blank with awful news]…”
Life and death are in the power of the tongue, (Proverbs 18:21) we see all too well from Scripture. There’s a reason God let us know that. We can speak life or we can speak death over a situation. And we can hand it off like a torch for someone else to do the same with.
Be careful. Know which one you’re doing before you publish that news!
Believe, and Have Faith!
Over and over again, we see that Jesus wants us to believe and have faith.
Just don’t fall prey to thinking that our “faith” is some magic charm that moves our Lord. Because it certainly isn’t. We have nothing in ourselves that is any good, save for Christ IN US.
But that is GOOD news!
When we are weak, He is strong (2 Corinthians 12:10). Not by might nor power, but by His Spirit (Zechariah 4:6)…it’s a common thread in the Scripture.
Our “faith” is simply our knowing that we serve a God who has done it before and Who is certainly able and willing to do it again.
Trust Him for salvation, by all means. But if we have enough “faith” for that, shouldn’t we have enough faith for the smaller matters as well?
Father, give an extra portion of opened eyes to anyone reading this. Grant them supernatural wisdom and a spiritual hunger they’ve never had before! Let them not be satisfied until they know You in a way they’ve never known You before!